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Posts tagged ‘Nebulas’

Tuesday Morning Roundup

Good morning, everyone! I had a post all planned for today and poof! it disappeared from my brain before I could write it. So I went traipsing through the internet, looking for inspiration and came across a handful of articles I thought I’d share. The first has me standing up and cheering because the literary bullies have failed–it took time but Amélie Wen Zhao has decided not to continue bending to the will of the vocal few. The result is that her debut novel, Blood Heir, will be published.

Hurrah! Read more

Nebulous Honors

The big news of the last week or so is that this years Nebula Award winners (with the exception of the Grandmaster Award) are all women. Naturally this should be taken as sincere recognition of an excellent field, the most impressive of whom just happened to be female, right?

Right…

Let’s hear from some of those who discussed the winners:

“Yes!. All the fiction winners are women. The white male patriarchy takes one right in the balls. “

Because women are naturally less violent and more nurturing, the obvious metaphor here is clearly one of… oh, wait? What? Presumably the non-violent nature of women takes second place to kicking the white male patriarchy where it hurts. Me thinks I scent a teensy amount of hypocrisy here.

Nah, impossible. These are the Feminist Hoo Haas of Glitter. They can’t be hypocrites. The glitter grants them instant righteousness or something. Anyway, having seen a picture of the trophy, it’s just not as convenient a shape for feminine satisfaction as the Hugo. No wonder they’re getting their glitter all in a flap (and we won’t even go near the latent sexism that such phallic shapes just happen to be perfect for feminine pleasure, because it’s got to be sexist, right? It couldn’t have anything to do with, oh… biology or evolution).

Another genius from Twitter:

“2014 Nebulas & all the fiction winners are women – The idea that women don’t belong in scifi has another nail in its coffin”

You know, apart from wondering why they need to keep putting nails in that damn coffin – surely they don’t think there’s something undead in there? – I have to wonder what the likes of Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey (herself a winner of both the Nebula and the Hugo back when they meant something) and such would think that there was ever more than a minority of socially inept (even by Odd standards) nerdy guys who were afraid of catching girl cooties that actually believed women didn’t belong in scifi.

Of course,we have to hear from tolerant, polite side of the debate:

“Another dinosaur complaining about the Nebulas. Wish they’d just leave sff and be hush for good.”

Gosh. And they call us nasty. We’ve never advocated kicking them out of anywhere, but we’re mean because we call them on tripe like this which isn’t that far off trying to claim we don’t deserve to exist. Don’t believe me? Consider this – there’s exactly one way to get someone to “be hush for good”. It’s called ‘dying’.

So naturally I had to go and find myself some preview text of the winning pieces. Now, before I start here, let me say that I have no argument whatsoever with Samuel Delaney’s Grand Master award. The man is a true giant of the field and deserves to stand with the other Grand Masters. Yes, I have read his work. Yes, I do know he’s black and gay. Do I care? Nope. He’s written some damn good books and that’s all that matters as far as the Grand Master award is concerned.

I started reading the novel winner. Went “wait, what?” This kind of cutesy games with pronouns was being done back in the sixties and they’re still calling it ground-breaking? No, it’s not. It’s confusing to readers who want to be able to tell who is whom (and in extreme cases, what). In addition to that, it’s clunky, sends confusing as hell signals (snow plus tavern then suddenly science fictiony trappings then we’re back to all the fantasy ‘medieval tavern’ signals. Screw that). One of the short form winners started “as you know, Bob”ing less than five paragraphs in. Another one was starting to look like a kind of maybe until it dropped the interesting and started an extended flashback infodump. And the shortest one was more like the output from someone on serious mind altering pharmaceuticals. I swear the only reason that one counted was instead of fantasizing the injured loved one had been a kick-ass warrior or something the dopey narrator fantasized him as a micro-T-rex.

Really. That is what is winning Nebula awards now.

Makes this little gem from Twitter look almost prescient:

“as great as it is that so many women won #nebulas, now i’m wondering what form the inevitable backlash will take.”

The backlash ain’t because so many women won. The backlash is because so much of what won is utter shit. Pardon my Australian. If this is the best SFF has to offer, the field is not dying, it’s dead.

Of course, it’s not the best that’s on offer. It’s the best SFWA’s governing Glittery Hoo Haas and Social Justice Warriors can find. Because glitter and “I’m special because I have a vagina” and social justice don’t make good fiction. They’re too busy beating people over the head with the message or claiming to break new ground that’s been broken and trampled so much it’s not just tamed, it’s frigging domesticated complete with frilly little apron.

Naturally, someone had to include a comparison with the Hugos, and the inevitable (and backwards) assumptions:

“Pretty healthy podium line-up in the Nebulas this year; I imagine the Hugo ballot-stuffers are suitably furious.”

Sorry darlin’. I’ve actually spoken to some of the alleged “Hugo ballot-stuffers” and they’re mostly finding this whole orgy of self-congratulatory masturbation rather amusing. And since nomination and voting for the Nebula’s is restricted to SFWA members, well. Let’s not forget this is the organization that expelled someone because they didn’t like what he said. The organization that has yet to publicly acknowledge who they expelled, much less why. Yes, everyone and their dog knows, mostly because the person who was expelled chose to make it public. Complete with his rebuttal of the claims (and shall we investigate just why SFWA’s officers felt the need to pull a DMCA takedown on their report? The one that is supposed to be a public document? Hm? I hear crickets chirping in the distance).

Not to mention, an award whose nominations must be made by members of a small organization and is voted on by members of the same small organization is much more vulnerable to ballot stuffing and other such shenanigans than an award that’s open (in terms of what gets nominated and the voting) to anyone with about $50 to spare for a supporting membership to the current Worldcon.

Oh wait… they mean that the wrong people can nominate the wrong people for Hugo Awards. And even worse, the wrong people can – are you prepared for this horrific revelation? – vote. Gosh. It’s a bit like the way Party membership in the old Soviet days protected people from those horrible, horrible anti-Communist thoughts, da Comrade?

Speaking of which:

“The SFWA is an organization composed of writers of SF&F. The nebulas can be voted upon by anyone in the SFWA–not a committee. There are quite diverse opinions among its membership.”

Yes, the opinions among SFWA’s membership are very diverse. They range from Marx worship all the way through to Stalin worship. With a sideline of Mao and Pol Pot for fun. Apart from the members who shut the fuck up because they don’t feel like being drawn and quartered for their heretical views. Yes, I know about this. I used to be one of those members. I am not a member any more, and believe me this makes me much happier.

There is a “review” of the winning novel on Tor.com. I don’t recommend anyone bother – not only is the review fangirl squee over fucking pronouns, it’s bad fangirl squee pretending to be a review. I’m not much of a reviewer, but at least when I’m going to go fangirly and squee all over the place I tell people up front so they can skip the post if they want. Yeesh.

Now all I need is one of Sarah’s gifferific images of the Glittery Hoo Haa and the Phallic Hugo to traumatize everyone forever (no! Don’t Google that… oh… um. I’m sure you’ll recover eventually?).

(The Kate slinks out and goes into deep, deep cover far from anything resembling Nebula, Glittery Hoo Haas, or Hugos)

The full moon rose and the craziness came out

I swear this past week was straight out of The Twilight Zone. Or maybe we fell down the rabbit hole and took a sharp left into Bizarro Land. Whatever the case, not only have we seen a return to social media by members of the SJW clique and the GHHers but also another attack (at least a perceived one) on indie authors by the establishment. If it was a remnant of the full moon, it can go away now. I’m ready for sanity to finally find its way into the publishing world. Not that I’m holding my breath.

EDITED TO ADD: The craziness has just been compounded. It seems if you yell loud enough, concoms will cave, whether you have a valid point or not. The concom at Archon has announced it is withdrawing its invitation to Uncle Timmy to be Fan GoH because people had to go out and find a reason to object to him. Go, Crazies! In fact, go away. Far, far away.

Edited To ADD 2: Welcome to everyone coming over from Instapundit! Thanks for the link, Glenn.

Let’s start with the Nebulas. The winners were announced this past weekend. There had been some controversy going into the awards but it was nothing compared to the vitriol that has been present since the Hugo finalists were announced. Not that it stopped the SJWs and GHHers when it turned out that every winner was female. Oh the crowing and self-congratulatory tweets that hit the twitterverse. How happy they were that they managed to stuff the ballots so that no icky man won. Nothing I’ve seen showed anything about how the voters thought they’d voted for the best works nominated. Oh no, the agenda of making sure no icky, evil, smelly man won. Agenda over quality. Agenda over ability. Agenda rules all.

All hail the glitter!

Next up comes the current movement — which is really just a ripple in the ocean and hopefully will stay that way — to keep Uncle Timmy from honored as Fan Guest of Honor at Archon. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Uncle Timmy, he is the heart and soul of LibertyCon. But he is, gasp, male and is now being accused by some folks who are such precious little flowers that they can’t tell the difference between jokes sent in by other people and what Uncle Timmy actually believes. These folks fall into the class of people who want thought police. The ones who want to tell us what we can and can’t think and say, who we can and can’t insult. Of course, they can insult anyone and everyone they want but heaven forfend that they, themselves, should ever feel insulted, rightly or wrongly.

These folks have taken to Facebook to attempt to convince the Archon concom to remove Uncle Timmy from the proceedings. There is even a comment in the thread from someone who wants to put together posters to take to other cons with the offending quotes on it and recommending people avoid going to Archon as long as Uncle Timmy is being honored. If anyone dares try to point out the difference between Uncle Timmy the fan and Uncle Timmy the publisher, they are attacked for not toeing the line of right think. My suggestion? Go to this page and show your support for Uncle Timmy and all he has done, overall, for fandom.

Then there was the controversy coming out of the RT Booklover’s Convention this weekend. The first I saw of it was when I read Hugh Howey’s post about the mass signing at the end of the convention. The post was soon picked up and being echoed across the internet, especially the part about indie authors being referred to as “aspiring authors”. Since then, there have been more posts about the separation of the authors into two different rooms as well as the “aspiring author” comment. Let’s look at both because they are both issues.

First is separating traditionally published authors from indie authors. One of the best explanations — not that I agree with the thought process behind it — for what happened comes from Courtney Milan. She notes that the traditionally published authors had their books provided by a bookstore and that these books were returnable. The difference being that the indie authors had to provide their own books and they were, therefore, not returnable. So far, so good.

However, if I correctly remember what Ms. Milan said — and assuming her understanding of the process is correct — the bookstore providing the books demanded the separation of traditionally published authors from the indies. I have an issue with that sort of thing because many of those indies have books out that the bookstore could have ordered and stocked. So the “returnable” argument begins to fall flat. No, what I have a feeling happened is the bookstore, knowing that publishers are their key supplier, didn’t want to upset anyone on the traditional end of the business. So the decision was made to only stock books supplied by the “real” side of publishing.

Another issue I have with separating the authors this way is that the indies were not apparently told this was going to happen. Surely the bookstore — or whoever made the decision — told the concom early enough that they could have sent emails to the authors who had said they wanted to take part. One comment I’ve seen speculated that the indies weren’t told about the separation because the con didn’t want to risk the indies pulling out. If that’s the case, doesn’t that point to the power and growing popularity of indie titles? So why alienate them by separating them from the traditionally published authors? More importantly, why make it even more difficult for the con goers, many of whom wouldn’t know if an author is traditionally published or not, by splitting them into two rooms in a way that would make little sense to the average reader?

Let’s face it, folks. Most readers don’t have a clue about who publishes their favorite authors.

But of more concern is the contention that the authors were split between the traditionally published authors and “aspiring” authors. The con claims that the use of the term “aspiring authors” to describe the indies was a mistake made by one of their volunteers. That very well may be. But it still shows an problem, not only with the con and how its volunteers were trained but with the general perception many people still have of indies. The volunteers should have been instructed, and more than once, on what authors were in which room and why. They should have been given the definition of what and indie author is and that definition should have included examples showing how some of the best selling authors around right now either started out as indies or are hybrid authors who do both traditional and indie publishing.

Honest mistake or not, bookstore demand or not, RT Booklovers’ Convention has been damaged by what happened this year.

Frankly, it’s time for those running cons to understand that indie publishing isn’t the vanity press of years gone by. More importantly, the SJWs and GHHers need to get over themselves and start worrying about writing good books, books that people want to read, instead of enforcing their own political and social agendas. And now I’m going to get back to writing books where all I care about is writing a story readers want to read.