James Damore

Probably so much has been written about this young man that anything I write is bound to be at least somewhat repetitive.  So, instead I’ll tell you what bothers me about this situation.  This is a pretty idealistic good-hearted kid who just got railroaded by the richest company in the world and then pilloried by the press.  Can you imagine how his parents feel?  Can you imagine how he feels?  I listened to him answering the charges trumped up by the media.  They did everything they could to twist his statements into misogynistic and somehow even racist sentiments.  His answers were measured and well expressed and very much to the point.  His facts were accurate and his whole approach was reasonable and genuine.  He struck me as a very intelligent and very young man.  Naïve is also how I’d describe him.  I think he was genuinely surprised that he would be punished the way he was for opinions that were moderate and reasonable.  I think his sin is believing the words that his employer told him.  James Damore believed Google when they said that those with different opinions could speak openly at Google and have no reason to fear.  That was the lie.  Someone of my generation knows that is the leftist lie.  It is a recasting of the basis of the story “Animal Farm.”  Basically, it is a way of saying, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Well, he’s just learned that lesson.  Chances are he’ll be just fine.  Anyone who goes to multiple Ivy League schools probably won’t be out on the streets anytime soon.  And I’m sure that his family connections will allow him to bounce back from this setback.  So maybe this will make him a wiser man.  But he’s just learned a hard truth.  Because he’s a normal white male, he’s a second-class citizen and nobody is going to come to his defense at Google or any other Fortune 500 company if he tells the emperor that he has no clothes.  He’ll be cast into the outer darkness where there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Anyone over the age of thirty knows how the corporate diversity speak works.  We’re all told how important it is and to what lengths we must go to make it work.  And if you want to hold onto your job you’ll keep quiet and go along at least to the extent of keeping your opinions to yourself.  That’s what James Damore will do from now on.

But the most important thing that comes out of this whole circus is that more and more people are finding out just how pathetically twisted the whole diversity sham has become.  It’s become a religion from which no dissent is tolerated or allowed to survive.  Possibly this will re-open the debate about the whole government affirmative action racket.  Maybe something finally will be done by the Supreme Court.

I wish the best for James in the future.  I hope he goes on to great success as a software programmer or whatever tech specialization he possesses.  Maybe someday he’ll own a company of his own and then he can treat people the way he says he thinks they should be treated.  But I just hope he fires the first person who tells him he has to hire more women.  That would seem to be poetic justice.

So good luck James and welcome to the real world.  It ain’t pretty.

The Shrieking Calliope of Rage

I think Steampunk exists because the steam powered devices of the 19th century were so impressive to the senses.  A steam locomotive fairly writhed with barely latent explosive potential.  Even the safety relief valves that prevented the whole thing from rupturing into a multi-ton shrapnel device assaulted your ears with a screeching shriek that hardly spoke to any sane person’s mind of safety or relief.  This impressiveness transfers well to the written page.  A good writer can weave a word image of the sights and sounds and the feel of the vibrations and even the taste and smell of steam coming off one of these mechanical monsters.  Off the top of my head, I can think of two examples from imaginative works.  The first is the Calliope and Carousel from Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”  The other is in the final scene in the boiler room from King’s “The Shining.”  In both cases the steam powered engine is almost an entity in itself.  A manic energy emanates from it and powers the action of the scene and drives the protagonist to attempt to disarm the menace of his shrieking foe.

So, where am I going with this? Oh come on, you know me by now.  The hissing, sputtering, shrieking machine that threatens at any minute to explode from apoplectic rage is the MSM and its faithful audience.  In the last week or so we have had any number of the usual suspects screaming, crying, cussing and threatening disaster over every and any action of the Administration.  In some ways it is impressive.  To keep up a hissy fit this long is no mean feat.  Some of these individuals are not young and so you’d think the risk of stroke is not negligible.  I’d say the most noteworthy instances to list were Stephen Colbert and Maxine Waters.  Colbert had a meltdown over Trump disrespecting a CBS reporter named Dickerson.  Colbert went into a rant against Trump and used some extremely derogatory sexual comments that even partisans of the left found offensive.  Following that a few days later, he extemporized to his studio audience on the breaking news of FBI Director Comey’s firing and was chagrined when the crowd cheered the news.  He claimed it was the result of a pro-Trump audience.  More likely, his constant attacks on Comey for harming Hillary’s election chances temporarily confused the audience into forgetting that we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.  I’m sure he straightened them out on that right away.

Waters took the Comey firing as the one hundredth excuse, to once again, call for the immediate impeachment of Donald Trump. When asked if she would have supported Hillary Clinton firing Comey she said she definitely would.  Wow.

In the olden days B.T. (before Trump), a republican president or Congress would quail and jibber under the endless assault of the outrage machine. A Bush or a McCain would waffle and kowtow to accusations of racism or sexism or just plain ism.  They were a hapless bunch and the Media and the dems knew it.  That’s why they are still hitting this play so hard.  It always yousta work.

We may be in a golden period. A place in time where the libs are still using tactics that no longer work but before they figure out that they actually do real harm to their case.  If this is the case then the trolling of Trump may actually be a very effective way of turning the public against the public positions of the left.  Someone like Colbert blowing a fuse on screen might have a truly revelatory effect if at the same time an unapologetic President is managing to get things done in Washington at the same time.

As the inimitable Vox Day has noted SJWs always double down. If that is the case, then there may come a point when even the somnambulistic public wakes up to the fact that the Left has become a shrieking steam engine whose relief valve has been overwhelmed in furtherance of doubling down.  And with any luck the Left will blow the whole thing sky high or run it right into a brick wall.  If so I can make one last steam analogy reference, “God He stole the handle and the train won’t stop going, no way to slow down.”

Scientists Real and Imagined – Part 1

On Saturday afternoons when I was a kid I used to watch Million Dollar Movie on Channel 11 and was able to enjoy such science fiction classics as “Attack of the Crab Monsters” and “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.”  Right away I figured out that really big creatures that had been exposed to atomic radiation really liked to attack.  But as I became more sophisticated in my sci-fi viewing I eschewed such childish cinematic offerings in favor of more cerebral tales.  No more ridiculous giant crab stories.  I graduated to “Them” which is the realistic depiction of an attack by giant ants exposed to atomic radiation.  In this classic of the fifties I learned that scientists were old and wore glasses and looked like Santa Claus (except for the girl scientists who were young and didn’t even look like Mrs. Claus and tended to end up with the FBI agent who starred in the film, who in this case was James Arness of Gunsmoke fame).  And the best ones had British accents (or at worst New England accents).  Also, no matter what their area of specialization (e.g., physics, botany or myrmecology) they were all equally adept at battling giant creatures exposed to atomic radiation.  And they were full of esoteric and valuable information.  I found out that the plural of antenna wasn’t antennas but rather antennae!  This inspired in me a life-long love of the classical Greek and Latin languages.  And the most important characteristic of scientists was their love of knowledge.  Because of this thirst for knowledge, they were willing to venture into tunnels and basements where even the ubiquitous soldiers in their WWII vintage uniforms were afraid to go.  It also meant the scientists were very likely to be munched on by the mutant du jour of the story.  But you know, science.  So that is how I came to admire scientists.  They were cool and smart too.  And they always, always, always figured out how to kill the monsters.

But one Saturday, Million Dollar Movie was playing another sci-fi film, “The Thing from Another World.”  I was suspicious at first.  If it was from another world how did it get here?  Had it been exposed to atomic radiation?  Would there be enough scientists?  These doubts plagued me.  But I decided to give it a whirl.  Encouraging signs emerged quickly.  The creature was indeed radioactive and there was a whole passel of scientists assigned to this movie.  One of them even had a New England accent so things seemed to check out.  And reassuringly the US military was available for monster eradication duty once the scientists had done the heavy lifting of analysis.  Early on a problem arose.  This creature was man shaped.  He was bald and had strange hands with hypodermic finger nails.  But he was no more than eight feet tall.  This was highly irregular and seemed to throw into doubt his qualifications for his own movie.  Also the scientists in this movie were extremely assertive and gave the military officers a lot of lip.  And it seemed they didn’t know their primary function, figure out how to kill the monster.  This was very confusing.  The leader of the scientists kept saying that regardless of how many humans the creature killed, science demanded that no force should be used against it.  He kept saying (in a really annoying intonation) that the creature “is wiser than we are” and that “it’s our duty to die to preserve the knowledge this creature possesses.”  Even as a youngster I intuited that this head scientist was what we called back then “a loser.”  How could this be?  He was a scientist!  He had the answers.  I found this very puzzling and dispiriting.  I searched for some reason for this failure on the scientist’s part to want to kill the monster.  Eventually I developed an hypothesis based on a detailed comparison of “Them” and “The Thing from Another World.”  At first glance nothing jumped out.  But once I checked the cast members it all became clear.  As mentioned above, in “Them” the part of the FBI Agent and eventual boyfriend of the scientist’s daughter is played by James Arness of “Gunsmoke” fame.  It turned out that the part of the Thing was played by none other than James Arness!  Well obviously if Arness was the prospective son-in-law of one scientist, then it stood to reason that a fellow scientist would not turn on him.  What was at work here was the kind of professional courtesy that, for instance, police confer on each other’s family members.  Now it made perfect sense.  Crisis averted.  I could become a scientist without becoming a loser.  But I was troubled by all that talk of monsters being wiser than us.  And not killing them but instead letting them kill us.  It was very strange.

Fast forward forty years.  I work as an engineer.  I am surrounded by R&D PhDs.  They all look and sound like the head scientist in “The Thing from Another World.”  They drive Priuses and have Tolerance and Coexist, Bernie and Free Tibet bumper stickers on their cars.  And suddenly it all makes sense.

Scientists Real and Imagined – Part 2

More Anti-Asimov Ranting

So, in my last post about Asimov I decried his descent into collectivist propaganda (Foundation’s Edge).

I will continue my diatribe here and show how Asimov devolved from an anthropocentric viewpoint to a proponent of the hive mind.

In 1950 Asimov had a short story called Misbegotten Missionary.   In the story an exploratory mission from Earth visits a world named Saybrook’s Planet that is populated by communal creatures.  Although these creatures take on all the forms needed to make up an ecosystem (microbes, plants and animals) they are all part of one consciousness.  In addition, any one of these creatures has the ability to alter all creatures around it so that all their offspring will be communal creatures too.  The explorers took precautions to protect their ship from contamination by any biological contact.  But unbeknownst to them a solitary creature has stowed away on the ship and is waiting to reach Earth to begin the conversion process.  It somehow realizes that the earth creatures monitor bacteria and the mice that they have on board to detect contamination by an alien life form.  Because of this the creature refrains from altering any of the ship’s life forms to avoid tipping off the crew.  The creature is cryptic and disguises itself as a piece of wire in an electrical circuit on the ship.  By the kind of remarkable luck that only happens in fiction (or the 2016 presidential election) the wire that the creature is connected to is in the circuit to open the ship door.  So instead of converting earth to communalism he gets fried like a death row inmate in Florida.  The conclusion has the crew discover the bullet they dodged and everyone breaths a sigh of relief.

 

Apparently, Asimov was unhappy with this result.  So, 32 years later he corrected this mistake in the Foundation sequel, Foundation’s Edge.  Searching for a mysterious unseen hand in the Foundation universe he follows clues that lead to Sayshell (not Saybrook’s Planet) where he learns of the existence of Gaia, a communal intelligence that not only is composed of all the living things on the planet but also the inanimate components too.  Now of course, this reeks of James Lovelock’s trendy 1970’s theory, The Gaia Hypothesis, that Earth was one big super-organism that had become infected with the human virus (thus the Matrix, thus Al Gore).  Apparently, Asimov had bought into this theory and saw a harmonization (read Borgian assimilation) of humanity by the communal organism as the perfect solution.  And just to make sure no one thinks assimilation is soul extinguishing oblivion, he shows us a human component of the collective who is a cheerful woman who happens to like the protagonist.  So, you see, if you glue a smiley face onto the Borg it’s all good.  And just to make sure no connection to Saybrook’s Planet is possible, the protagonist in Foundation’s Edge is not forced into the hive but gets to choose whether humanity is melted into a collective consciousness with igneous rocks and hydrogen atoms.  You see it’s totally okay!

 

Asimov displays all the symptoms of the proto-sjw that he was.  He dislikes individualism.  He admires the hive.  He desires to remove choice from the currently free.  And he dislikes all this random doing what you want to do (except probably for himself of course).  And finally to hammer home the lesson that humans can’t be left to their own devices we find out that Earth is a radioactive corpse and the whole Gaia situation is a master plan put together by a super-intelligent robot to try to save humans from themselves.

 

So my question is, what the hell happened to this doofus?  And of course, the answer is he just followed the same trajectory as most of the progressives from the thirties who admired the Soviet Union before the Cold War.  Now, Heinlein started out in that camp too.  But when he changed wives and married a conservative he changed course and rejected the hive.  I remember in his novel Methusaleh’s Children Heinlein has a world where a race exists that also possesses a collective mind.  And the humans also had to make a choice.  If they remained they would be assimilated.  Only those who feared death remained.  Obviously, these collective races are the communists.  Heinlein rejected it.  Asimov finally embraced it, much to his detriment as a writer and a man.  But it did finally earn him a Hugo.  So apparently the Hugo had also made the transition by that time.

The Missionaries: A Short Book Review

“The Missionaries,” by Owen Stanley is a book that can be enjoyed without having to first categorize it.  But while reviewing it I feel it is necessary to identify some of the qualities present in order to attract the target audience and repel those who are clearly the targets of its humor.  So, trigger warning, if you think Hillary Clinton should have won the 2016 US presidential election you’re not going to want to read this book.  But if you think that the high point of Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s career was reached as a double entendre during a Seinfeld episode then this might be the book for you.

The book is a binge, an aristophanean binge.  The characters are in some ways caricatures, but the narrative proceeds fluidly from one fantastically ridiculous scene to the next.  The absurdities are piled up, one on top of the other, until the eventual catastrophe finally resolves the comedy.

The story takes place in the indefinite past that, based on tell-tales like typewriters and the existence of the UN, must be taking place during the Cold War.  An island in the Pacific called Elephant Island is being administered by an appointee of the Australian government named Roger Fletcher.  He has managed to pacify the indigenous (and cannibalistic) tribesmen by convincing them that he is a minor deity of theirs.  When the UN is given a mandate to move Elephant Island to independence, it unleashes a chain of events that demonstrates how social justice policy decisions and stone age tribal dynamics can combine to form a close approximation of the Apocalypse.

I would be a spoil sport if I revealed all the better bits that make up this comedy.  For me the innovation is seeing all of the sacred cows that are typically given the best lines in novels about the third world (or is it fourth world?) getting mugged by reality.  All the pieties about empowering non-western societies come back to bite the smug leftists right in the ass.  In fact, from my point of view, they get off too easily.  I would have enjoyed much more pay back.  But I have quite a bit of Sicilian in my family tree so I shouldn’t be considered an objective judge.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it for anyone on the right wing who thinks the UN should be defunded and moved to Newark, New Jersey.  My only real complaint is I wish it were much longer.  I could see this as the basis for series of books or a long television series with episodic action leading slowly to the eventual climax at the end of season five (or even eight).  So much more could be added to the characterizations and back stories.  I feel cheated that I won’t get to read the prequel describing the arrival of Fletcher to Elephant Island and his taming of the natives.  We could have been given flashbacks of the UN personnel in their earlier roles.  And of course, we could find out whether the capital city (Ungabunga) was named by the indigenous people or (more likely) by Fletcher.  But, alas, we’ll probably never learn these important details.  Damn you Owen Stanley!

Nevertheless, I wholeheartedly recommend The Missionaries to anyone who was ever forced to read any of that genera of modern novels that bemoan the fate of noble indigenous peoples under the control of evil, white, colonial rule.  My most dreary example of this genera was a book I received as part of a subscription to a magazine.  The book was “At Play in the Fields of the Lord” (APITFOTL) by Peter Matthiessen.  It was just alive with noble savages and filthy with misguided missionaries and other white people getting in the way of noble savagery.  Reading “The Missionaries” is a sort of catharsis for this.  It’s as if reading APITFOTL infected my soul and left an overgrown boil that had festered for all these years and this new book was an intellectual scalpel that lanced that boil and allowed it to drain and heal.  Wow, I sound like a very angry old guy.  Anyway, read the book oh my brothers.  It’s good for the soul.

The Dragon Awards Results

Well the winners were announced yesterday. You can see the official announcement here:

Winners


I’ll copy the results here:
Winners

Best Science Fiction Novel
Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm by John C. Wright

Best Fantasy Novel
Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia

Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel
The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
Hell’s Foundations Quiver by David Weber

Best Alternate History Novel
League of Dragons by Naomi Novak

Best Apocalyptic Novel
Ctrl Alt Revolt! by Nick Cole

Best Horror Novel
Souldancer by Brian Niemeier

Best Comic Book
Ms. Marvel

Best Graphic Novel
The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
Game of Thrones – HBO

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
The Martian

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC/Console Game
Fallout 4 by Bethesda Softworks

Best Science Fiction of Fantasy Mobile Game
Fallout Shelter by Bethesda Softworks

Best Science Fiction of Fantasy Board Game
Pandemic: Legacy by ZMan Games

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures/Collectible Card/Role Playing Game
Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game (7th edition) by Chaosium Inc.

So what do I think?  Great!!!

What’s not to love?  Oh sure, I have to disagree with picking The Martian over Deadpool for best movie, but you know, it’s just the movies and movies are for kids anyway.

So good for the Dragon Con folks for finally making SF&F great again

Some people are saying that the Dragons are to the People’s Choice Awards as the Hugos are to the Oscars.  I guess that’s supposed to be a put-down of the Dragons.  But I’ll take that analogy.  Have you seen the Oscars lately?  Every movie they award and most of the movies they nominate suck

You can do a lot worse than let people pick what they like.  At least it gives you a good indication of what they’re willing to spend their money on.  And that’s good news for the winners.  When a Con that musters 60,000 participants runs an award that can really put a lot of eyeballs on the results.  And that’s especially good for the newcomers and the smaller categories.  Excellent.

Congratulations to all of them.

But of course a bonus feature of the Dragons is who hates the results.  All the familiar cast of characters.   The Puppy-kickers one and all.   But happily they’re not gloating.  They’re exhibiting all the familiar characteristics of angry SJWs.  The three laws in full effect.  Their pets didn’t win.  Fraud, ballot box stuffing, skullduggery and possibly even flimflammerry!  Larry Correia!  Vox Day!  Puppies!!!

The administrators must be questioned and found guilty of serious offenses.  Pressure must be brought to bear on them to confess their sins and cleanse the awards of its populist taint.  Special Snowflake Fairy Dust must immediately be power sprayed onto the contest so that next year the requisite number of special categories will fill the winner’s circle with socially just empowerment.  They’re not following The Narrative!  Attention must be paid!!!

Or something like that.  Anyway, bravo Dragon winners.  Well done.   All in all, a nice holiday weekend treat.

Bring on the SFFexit

Sad and Rabid Puppies in 2016, What Will the Future Hold

So last week I talked about the Hugos and Dragon Awards. And we’ll have to wait for Labor Day to see if the Dragon Award voters look more like Puppies or CHORFs. I think it’s an open question as to whether the type of readers who read the Puppy books will bother to vote for them. Sure it’s much easier to vote for something that’s free, but honestly, most normal people don’t know that sci-fi awards even exist. So, to be continued.

But what I do want to write about is the situation on the ground between the Puppies (all flavors) and the CHORFs. I won’t go back into the weeds of what it’s all about. Instead let’s talk about where it’s going. This week most of the Puppy Leaders (Larry, Brad, Sarah, Kate, Dave and of course Vox) had something and sometimes a lot to say about the 2016 awards. Here are some of the links.

Larry

http://monsterhunternation.com/2016/08/22/my-thoughts-on-the-2016-hugos/#comments

http://monsterhunternation.com/2016/08/23/aw-the-guardians-village-idiot-remembered-my-birthday/#comments

 

Brad

Survival Guide for the Conservative, Classically Liberal, & Libertarian Science Fiction & Fantasy Author

Addressing The Problem™

Sarah

The Good, The Bad, The Boring

Kate

A Puppy At WorldCon

Dave

A Wally for me!

Vox

https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/08/post-hugo-analysis.html#comment-form

 

https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-worldcon-audio.html#comment-form

 

https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/08/why-worldcon-changed-rules.html#comment-form

 

 

I’ve read all their posts and even all the comments. I didn’t visit the CHORF sites (although several CHORF trolls were quite active on the comments sections of these puppy posts). I think I have a pretty good idea how everyone is feeling and what they want.

I think the Sad Puppies (most of them) intend to continue their policy of widening the reading and voting circle to include people who like good stories instead of just literary message fiction. By building an awareness of this alternate SFF community they are creating the core of a better fandom.

And this is truly admirable.

I think the Rabids intend to torture the CHORFs whenever and however they can. This is not only to overthrow the tyrannical regime of the SJWs, but also because they really really like doing it.

And this is truly hilarious.

The rabids are the precise remedy for the hollow pomposity and hypocritical virtue-signaling that fandom has devolved into. Rabid malice is almost a separate entity in and of itself.

Now, for the folks in the audience that think that the Rabids are the offenders I direct them to this post about David Truesdale (directly below) to get a feel for how they treat people who don’t agree with the narrative they enforce. They’re not nice or even fair.

https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-worldcon-audio.html#comment-form
I guess if someone looked at the dichotomy of the two puppy approaches he might compare them to the New and Old Testaments respectively. Basically the Gospel on the one hand and Samson pulling down the Philistine Temple on the other.

Based on some voting numbers that Vox put up on a post, it looks like about 2,000 of the extra voters from last year didn’t vote in the finals this year. So they didn’t renew their memberships. It seems entirely possible that next year’s awards will be even more contentious than 2016 when the best short story nominees included “Space Raptor Butt Invasion.” I don’t pretend to anticipate or even understand exactly how Vox plans to prosecute his war against the SJWs of SF but I’m almost certain that he has only just begun to torture them. He does seem to take the long view.

Those among the CHORFs that think that the worst is over because the rabid nominations were defeated in the finals do not understand what those nominations mean. For every Space Raptor Butt Invasion that wins a nomination spot, some one of the ancillary writers who faithfully vote the party ticket gets denied the promised spot on the periphery of the circle jerk. Essentially, the incentive for going along with the group-think will begin to evaporate. Before you know it, people will start reading what is actually entertaining instead of “good for you.” We can’t have that. So it’s probably going to get worse for the status quo.

It is reminiscent of some kind of ancient siege. The CHORFs are like some city totally surrounded by a horde of merciless barbarians. They have fought several skirmishes and have even sent out sorties to win the day by concentrating all their resources on offense. But their numbers and resources are dwindling and the horde seems to only get stronger and more blood-thirsty after every encounter. I can only guess at what the mentality and morale of the besieged is currently.
Pass the popcorn.

Thoughts on the 2016 SF&F Awards (Hugos and Dragons)

Well another Hugo Awards has come and gone and the WorldCon convention (this edition in Kansas City called MidAmericon II) ends today after proving that the entrenched powers that be would rather eject legitimate members from their proceedings than allow any dissenting opinions.

I won’t review the whole event (see story at link https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/08/truesdale-expelled-from-worldcon.html ) but the gist of it is that a well known editor of an on-line sf review site (Dave Truesdale of Tangent Online) was expelled from the convention because during his moderation of a panel on short stories he read a statement that blamed the current impoverished state of sf/f short story sales on the unpopularity of social justice themes. Apparently Mr. Truesdale has an audio recording of the proceedings and when he makes it available it is sure to be enlightening and highly entertaining.

But I think it is painfully obvious at this point that WorldCon and the Hugos are irredeemable. I applaud the efforts of the Sad Puppies to open up the membership to a wider audience (and I celebrate the constructive destruction that allowed Space Raptor Butt Invasion to find immortality as a best short story finalist (well done Rabid Puppies)). I even see that continued efforts to influence the nominating and voting outcomes could improve the results of future Hugos above the present dismal pool.

But what I am much more interested in is whether the new Dragon Awards (associated with the Dragon Con organization) will better reflect the tastes and reading choices of the wider science fiction and fantasy public. The fact that voting is free should guarantee a larger voting pool. Of course that’s no guarantee of perfect representation but it’s sure easier to get people to vote for free than having to plunk down $40 or $50 to do the same.

Right off the bat, an award that has both Jim Butcher and Larry Correia competing for best fantasy novel has got my attention. The Dragon Con takes place during the Labor Day Weekend. It’s just a couple of weeks until we’ll know whether these awards will provide a more representative measure of the broader taste in science fiction and fantasy. If it resembles the results of this year’s Hugos then I think that tells me that the great majority of sf&f readers just don’t care about awards at all and depend on reviews and word of mouth to select their reading material. Either way it will be an interesting data point.

SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police; A Review

Discussing this book is really a combination of explaining the concept of the Social Justice Warrior (SJW) to the uninitiated (or fortunate innocent) and reviewing the efficacy of the content with respect to the book’s stated purpose.

How’s that for a loaded thesis?

So, for anyone who has been in a coma for the last twenty years or living in a Burmese lamasery for the same period of time, an SJW is a person who pursues a policy of seeking out and punishing anyone who does not sufficiently submit to any aspect of the ultra-progressive narrative and agenda. This transgression can be of any kind; action, inaction, word, silence, facial expression, glance or any behavior at all. Most guilty are those who regardless of any other action belong to that most detestable group; the cis-gender, male, straight, white, christian American. They have the Mark of Cain (if I may use such a Judeo-Christian metaphor). For them any punishment is justified and insufficient. The SJW’s favorite method of attack is the internet swarm. These creatures will locate a likely target and using internet posting and e-mail complaints attempt to convince the victim’s employer that he is a terrible person and needs to be de-employed (fired). This sounds highly unlikely but reading a few of the clearly documented and easily confirmed high profile examples from the book it’s pretty clear that SJWs exist and that they do horrible damage to their victims. So in a nutshell that is the meaning of SJW. First part of mission accomplished. Hooray.

Part 2. My thoughts on the book. The author of the book, Vox Day, is an incredibly polarizing individual. For left wing individuals (especially those in the science fiction and fantasy community) he is the devil himself. Their fear and loathing of him is practically a fetish. For the political moderates he is a gadfly. He punishes them for failing to support anyone who the left labels as racist, sexist, homophobic or any other label they use to disqualify their enemies. Lately, in fact, Vox has been more of a scourge of mainstream conservatives than left-wing targets due to the Trump campaign and the reaction of mainstream republican politicians and pundits to it. Therefore he has become a lightning rod for several types of attack. He is aligned with the alt-right and nationalist groups and his popular blog site ( https://voxday.blogspot.com/ ) reflects his take no prisoners approach to the culture wars. For these reasons it would be easy to dismiss his book as a partisan screed only useful for preaching to the far right choir. But that is not the case. The book is actually an incredibly useful tool for explaining to all sorts of people and preparing them for an SJW attack. How to recognize it. How it progresses. What to do and most importantly, what not to do.

The information is laid out in a very orderly arrangement with chronological breakdown of the stages. Interspersed are examples of the high profile SJW victims from the recent past. Also Vox provides his own autobiographical account of an SJW attack.

Grabbing just one nugget from this useful guide I’d say probably the single most important rule is never apologize (although a close second is never resign).

In my estimation this book should be read by anyone who wants to protect himself from being intimidated (and potentially destroyed) by leftist culture thugs. What it also does is allow you to recognize the noxious effect that political correctness has already had on normal human interaction. Basically everyone is afraid to challenge the thought police who impose an unpopular narrative on us all. The fact that it is reinforced at almost all institutional centers (media, schools, corporations and government) shows just how serious the problem already is.

Vox Day has millions of enemies. But he has almost everyone in his debt for providing a useful tool to warn of and protect us from these totalitarian harpies.

Hugos and Puppies and Chorfs, Oh My!

  • Well it’s April and that means it’s time for science fiction and character assassination.  This year will mark the fourth iteration of the greatest literary experiment since the invention of the apostrophe.  At this point the whole saga has become too long and complicated to rehash in detail but the argument in a nutshell is that the Hugo Awards had become a very in-bred mutual admiration prize that a surprisingly small number of voters controlled.  The Sad Puppies claimed that the prizes no longer reflected the kind of stories that the majority of sf buyers wanted but rather a literary style that was heavy on progressive social messaging and flavor of the day affirmative action representation.  In fact what they claimed was that a small group of like-minded authors and the publishers who printed their works (call them the Gatekeepers) basically agreed on a slate ahead of time and because of the small attendance were able to dictate the winners based on their progressive sensibilities.  For this assertion the Puppies were mocked and reviled.  So they formed a slate of their own and captured almost all of the nominations.  The panic and anger this engendered is hard to exaggerate.  Some of the publishing professionals used their media contacts to get multiple news sites to characterize the Sad Puppies as racist, sexist white supremacists.  Interestingly several of the puppies were various combinations of non-white and non-male.  But the truth is no excuse for ruining a perfectly good narrative.  By convincing the larger sf community that evil men were co-opting the venerable Hugos the Gatekeepers were able to recruit a couple of thousand new voters who used the “no-award” option to punish the puppy nominees.  And just to show how petty these gatekeepers were they handed out asterisks at the award ceremony to nominees just to show them how illegitimate their status was.
  • This year the Sad Puppies have decided to take the high road and make the program more inclusive allowing anyone regardless of sensibilities to nominate works.  This has garnered them less hate (slightly) from the Gatekeepers.  However, a very large section of the Sad Puppies has migrated to the Rabid Puppies.  These are followers of a fellow called Vox Day who so despises the Hugo Gatekeepers (or Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) as he calls them) that burning down the Hugos is actually more desirable to him than reforming them.  Now the Rabids are generally a prickly crowd and tend to bite friend or foe when the whim strikes them.  But how can you fault someone who nominates a story for a Hugo called “Space Raptor Butt Invasion.”  If the Rabids manage to capture a substantial proportion of the nominations pandemonium (and hilarity) will ensue.  The character assassination will be phenominal.  But it is instructive to see just how easily the progressives crumble when exposed to just a small fraction of the unfairness that they dish out to conservatives.  Very instructive.
  • So Bravo Puppies (Sad and Rabid).  Long may you gnaw your chew toys.