Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing interview on Sad Puppies (and cliffs notes)

The fine folks at Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing had me on to discuss the Hugos and the Sad Puppies.

For those who don’t want to hear my dulcet voice talk on these matters, or don’t have the time, inclination or ability, the Cliffs Notes version of my AISFP Podcast interview about the Sad Puppies:

The unifying of the Sad Puppies and Vox Day’s toxic Rabid Puppies fatally weaken the arguments of the Sad Puppies
and tarnish their points.

I agree with the Sad Puppies that a lot of deserving SF authors have never been Hugo nominated.

The Hugos are a small self selecting slice of SF fandom. That slice is by and large of a political stripe far
to the left of the Sad Puppies.

Sad Puppies are far from the first to logroll Hugo nominations–the story of L Ron Hubbard and Mission Genesis

The Sad Puppies “suggested slate” is a Block Vote in practice. Their protestations about being about “quality” are
countervailed by other comments in their blogs to cast their voting scheme to be a political act to stick it to the lefties.

Ultimately the Hugo is not a big award in the grand scheme of things–but its been cast as the voice of Science
Fiction even so.

Should the Hugos be Juried? Maybe, but Juried awards have their own problems.

The Pool of Nominators for the Hugos IMO is too small–the fandom that votes on the Hugos is a tiny fraction of
SF readership and fandom. I would vastly expand the Hugo nominating and voting membership, were I in charge. It would
have its own problems but would reduce logrolling from Sad Puppies or anyone else.

Recent Stuff with and by Me 3/21

I had a bit of a lull with my trip to Britton, SD for work, but I have plenty of stuff to look at:

At Skiffy and Fanty on the podcast, Shaun Duke and I talked with Carrie Patel about The Buried Life.

Also at Skiffy and Fanty, I Discussed Jo Walton’s THE JUST CITY.

At SF Signal, Betsy Dornbusch kindly answered my interview questions about EMISSARY.

I was also on SFF Audio, talking about Mark Twain’s A DOUBLE BARRELLED DETECTIVE STORY. Twain does Sherlock Holmes!

Lots of stuff coming in the pipeline too!

Leonard Nimoy and Terry Pratchett

In a terribly short time, we’ve lost both Leonard Nimoy, and Terry Pratchett.

There is an irony that both genre people are tied with death. Leonard Nimoy’s death scene in Star Trek II is one of the
greatest scenes in SF film, and for Pratchett, Death was a character, a memorable character. Other people have had Death as
a character, but Pratchett perfected him.

My late friend Scott loved Pratchett as much as Tolkien. Remembering Pratchett means remembering Scott.

Life is too short.

Recent Stuff with and by me 3/6/2015

A busy week on the internets for me.

On SF Signal, I did a Mind Meld on Sequels to the standalone novels we love. Got a lot of great responses.

Also on SF Signal, I interviewed Carrie Patel.

I also reviewed Carrie Patel’s THE BURIED LIFE at Skiffy and Fanty.

I also participated in a Skiffy and Fanty Torture Cinema episode for the execrable movie BABY GENIUSES.

And of course, I’m all over Twitter and Facebook. Say hi, won’t you?

A wrongheaded view of fantasy

From a review of THE BURIED GIANT:

“Despite what you might read elsewhere, however, this is not a fantasy novel. It has very little of substance in common with “Game of Thrones” or “The Lord of the Rings.” Yes, creatures like ogres and dragons stalk its landscapes and some of the characters knew King Arthur personally, but “fantasy” is a contemporary genre that uses the form of the novel to deal with the material of pre-novelistic storytelling. “The Buried Giant” reverses that formula, using the structure of a medieval romance to explore the moral and psychological themes we’re used to seeing addressed by the realistic novel.”

So, the reviewer seems to be of the opinion and school of thought that fantasy is a juvenile genre, and any novel that explores “moral and psychological themes” must, by her definition, not be fantasy.

Yeah, right.

The Exalted Circle, Skiffy and Fanty style

Exalted is a role-playing game published by White Wolf Publishing. The game is classified as high fantasy and it was inspired by a mixture of world mythologies as well as Japanese Anime.

I’ve done this for 5 authors, but today I am going to classify me and my fellow members of Skiffy and Fanty.

The Solar Exalts:

DAWN: The Warriors and Generals: That’s our leader, Shaun Duke!
ZENITH: The zealot, the holy one, the keeper of the faith: Julia Rios. Who better than the “Bechdel Crusher”?
NIGHT: The Spy, the Assassin: Rachael Acks. If you’ve read her movie reviews, you will know why.
TWILIGHT: The Scholar and Sorcerer. David Annandale. He’s an academic and author, and is wicked smart and learned.
ECLIPSE: The Ambassador, Diplomat and Negotiator: Well, I am putting myself in this role.

To fit our other members, I am going to pull in the Lunar Exalted shapeshifters of the setting:

THE FULL MOON: The Warrior, the Combatant, the Leader: Jen Zink, co-creator with Shaun.
The CHANGING MOON: The Trickster, the Changeable one: That would be none other than Stina Leicht.
The NO MOON: The sorcerer, and savant: Mike Underwood, who also has deep academic background, is a writer, AND a marketing professional.

Small c Conservatism in Reading

This post was inspired by a Twitter conversation with Scott Lynch, and reading the reactions to K Tempest Bradford’s post, in comments, and in the Sad Puppies blogs. The vehemence in this has surprised me…but only in retrospect.

Small c conservatism in reading habits and expectations in what a writer is or should write works against authors oeuvres and reading lists.

The outrage to [Bradford]’s challenge to read women and POC for a year is a really telling piece of this pie and conversation.

I found it very interesting that a lot of the Sad Puppies claim “I don’t choose books based on gender and color,I just read the best”

And yet, I will bet money that for most people who claim that, and perhaps even believe it, their book habits in reading aren’t diverse.

It’s extremely easy to fall into the trap of “I’m reading diversely, I know I am” without examination, and wind up reading conservatively.

Now, how does this tie to what I was mentioning to [Scott Lynch] about? This applies to authors and I will drag [Elizabeth Bear] into this too.

Red Seas from Red Skies is the second Lamora book, and Scott got a lot negative feedback from readers for it? Why?

In my view: Simple. It’s simply not “Lies II: Electric Bugaloo”. It does different things. It tries new techniques.It reframes Locke & Jean.

For readers who just wanted more of the sea from Lies, this of course drove them crazy. And so the reception of it suffers.

I understand that Bear, jumping across series early in her career, had some pushback in terms of success. She didn’t write 10 Jenny Casey novels.

She wrote other stuff, tried new things, experimented, grew. This fought against the small c conservatism that readers have.

Look at George R R Martin and why people are so hot fired on when the next book comes. It’s not like there aren’t tons of more to read.

They want more Tyrion, Daenerys and the rest. Period. Small c conservatism. Its something we can all do to recognize and counter.

True Fans, Real Fans

Over in the Sad Puppies part of the fandom blogs, I keep seeing this meme propagated. The idea that they were told that they weren’t real fans, that they didn’t count. That they were going to take fandom back, and hoo boy!, aren’t you SJWs going to be sorry when we do!

The latest is from Brad Torgersen’s blog but I want to know is where this idea *came* from? What disturbs me is that this has been co-opted into a Pink versus Blue argument, and, from what I see, the Blues are agitating against a Pink establishment that deems them to be not real fans. It’s popping up everywhere. That last link blames File 770, but I couldn’t find anything remotely close to saying what they are saying Mike said.

This is a strawman argument. I’d like to know the context of where people were told they were not “real fans”. Its ridiculous.

And I dislike strongly the Delenda Est rhetoric. (Sometimes, to avoid Godwin and Friends, its best to go to the original Latin).

As I have said repeatedly: If you enjoy SF in any form, you’re a fan. Yay!

Do I think that, for example, the SF of Theodore Beale is shite? Yes.
Do I think he’s a racist and sexist human being? Based on what he’s written, damn straight, Skippy.
Does that mean he isn’t a reader and writer of science fiction? No.
Does that mean he’s not a fan of SF? No.

There you have it, then.

A Reality-Based Blog for Paul Weimer's interests, including but not limited to Science and F/SF, books, Movies, NFL Football, Role Playing Games, Photography, and why 6*9=42. "Living in the Science Fiction Present", Proudly supporting Anti-Mundane SF, and aware of all internet traditions! I'm just this guy, you know?