What Have We Learned?

Fifty years into this egregious bout of cultural devolution it is probably worth analyzing what we’ve learned.  What seems clear is that the leaders of the supposed pillars of the old regime have proven themselves almost completely useless at withstanding the onslaught of the forces of dissolution.  A closer examination of how this conflict proceeds demonstrates that these supposed leaders don’t actually care about the values of their institutions.  Their primary motivation is maintaining their positions and prestige.  They are completely comfortable with compromising their morals and even the legitimacy of their organizations if doing so will extend their places in the hierarchy.  This has allowed almost unlimited damage to be done to the structure of human culture. It has been responsible for plummeting birth rates, widespread divorce and the crumbling of families.  It also has contributed to an enormous increase in mental illness and depression.  It is hard to imagine that the continuation of this trend for even a very short time won’t prove fatal to our people and way of life.

Looking around I see that several groups and individuals have begun to produce strategies and tactics to allow both offensive and defensive activities.

  • Right wing blogs provide articles and discussion on who the enemy is and what tactics work best against them. A good example is Vox Day’s excellent book “SJWs Always Lie.”
  • These same websites also act as news sources that allow you to bypass the mainstream media.
  • On the religious side Rod Dreher wrote his book “The Benedict Option” to awaken orthodox believers to the severity of the problem and provide information on support organizations and tactics to protect families and educate kids on what it means to be a conservative Christian.
  • Donald Trump provided us with a concrete example of what it means to expose the sell-outs in the republican party and call out the liars in the main stream media and get your message out there by social media and your own websites.
  • Grassroots activism coordinated by some of the right-wing pundits and more prominent individuals can push back against thugs paid for by Soros and other progressive bankrollers.
  • And finally, it becomes important to start building alternate structures to bypass the ones completely infested with progressives. Once again Vox Day has taken the lead with a publishing company that seeks out non-progressive authors.  In addition to the science fiction and fantasy books that are the staple of Castalia House his company also produces books of interest to people on the right wing.  He started up Infogalactic as an alternative to Wikipedia.  And other individuals are building non-progressive structures too.  Gab was started as an alternative to Twitter and Brave is an alternative browser that isn’t slanted to the left like Google.

Looking at this situation gives a mixed impression.  Something like Trump winning the presidency and possessing majorities in the House, Senate and Supreme Court should be a reason for great hope and enthusiasm.  But progress is sporadic and push back from the Deep State and the press is insanely vicious.  The contrast in strength between the rich and powerful progressive institutions like the colleges and other schools, Hollywood and the Media against the tiny fledgling conservative websites and other businesses is staggering.  And yet, being able to read free thoughts and express your own opinion is intoxicating.

What seems apparent is that the odds are daunting.  But what also seems true is that the news black-out against our side is no longer as effective as before.  Word is starting to get out.  When Steve Bannon goes from Breitbart News to the White House change is definitely happening.

So, what I think can be said is that the road is a very long one.  But the first few steps have been taken and the direction is known.  My advice is link up with the others out there who are against the progressives.  Remember that the enemy of your enemy is your ally.  Don’t get into battles over our differences.  Look to form ties to like-minded folks.  But beware those in the republican party who attack Trump and say we must be “fair.”  What they mean is kowtow to the politically correct nonsense that gives the progressives the whip hand.

And support any of these alternative structures that are formed.  They need your help, patronage and encouragement.  And if you can build anything of your own do it.  If you have a talent or a knowledge base use it.  And don’t get discouraged.  It took half a century to get us in this mess.  We won’t clean it up in a year or even a few but we can start to build a new foundation for a better world.  And we can annoy the hell out of a lot of snowflakes, so there is that.

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.”

We Interrupt This MSM Funk to Provide a Message of Fun

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m heading out soon for a get together with some family.  I have tomorrow to put together a post or two but I think maybe I should do some work for OCF today.  But what?  What does a man do to top my previous output this week?  After all I trashed Isaac Asimov in not one but two posts and then I had Melania Trump complete the agenda of the Trump Administration between her morning nail appointment and cooking dinner for the Donald and Barron.  I mean come on, I might as well just drop the mic and rest like the Lord did after creating the Magellanic Clouds.

But no, the faithful readers deserve something for the weekend and only a lazy creator kicks back every time he gets going.

So, what to discuss?  Logically, I should address the Obamacare repeal fiasco.  It’s been all over the MSM and they’re all swooning over the “impact.”  I should be eloquent about how it was a good thing that we didn’t pass a bill that was just more of the same and how we’ll get it right later, blah, blah, blah.  But honest, I just don’t feel any energy about writing it and it would show.  I’ll let Trump and those clowns in Congress tackle this one themselves.  I want something fun today.  We deserve it.

I want to talk about how the right wing needs to look at the opportunities we have in front of us in the next few years.  From my point of view, what’s important is to build up any alternative structures that can start replacing the compromised ones we have around us now.  Now, obviously, some of these existing structures are practically unavoidable.  If you’re a self-published author then Amazon is practically the only game in town and if you have an internet business I imagine it’s pretty hard to avoid Google in some form.  But even taking that into account, there are plenty of things you can do to help build up the other parts of the community that are out there.  For instance, Vox Day has publicized that Gab has become an alternative for Twitter, Infogalactic is providing an alternative to Wikipedia.  And even if you’re not a fan of the Alt-Right there are plenty of opportunities to help the right.  When you see a business on the right, support it (buy something from it).  If what you get is good, then go back next time you need something and tell friends about it.  It’s easy and it will make it a harder network for the SJW’s to crash.

And it’s time to build positive things.  Always fighting against something is exhausting (except to the warrior class).  It’s good to have something positive to talk about.  Of course, Trump is the elephant in the room.  His win has energized the whole right wing with positive energy that’s almost impossible to exaggerate.  But we need to look around us and celebrate the good things that still exist.  Find some old classic movie to watch with friends.  Buy some good music that doesn’t reference alternative gender sensibilities.  Pass along a book recommendation (either old or new) that has brightened your day.

And for pity’s sake, remember.  It’s spring!  Well not here in the horror that is March in New England.  But in the real world outside this Cthulhu infested hell-hole, flowers are growing birds are singing and kids are playing baseball.  Get out there and have some fun!  Take your best girl out for a ride and lunch and get some damn fresh air!

And don’t worry too much about Washington.  Trump’s got our backs and he’ll do what is necessary to keep those losers in Congress from thinking they’re actually human beings.  Next week those losers in the Senate will be forced to nuke the filibuster and get Gorsuch into the SCOTUS.  After that we’ll see some progress on the immigration and other fronts that renegade judges like to screw with.

So smile.  Life is pretty good.

Asimov, Then, Now and Now and Then

 

If you’ve been following the Puppy vs Pink SF saga you know that puppies come in at least two denominations; sad and rabid.  The Sad Puppies are the disciples of Larry Correia and wanted to draw attention to the incestuous log-rolling that a clique of sjw inspired authors and fans used to monopolize the results of the Hugo Awards.  The Rabid Puppies are the shock troops of Vox Day who despises these pink science fiction folk with an intensity that would be frightening if it wasn’t so hilarious.  He has spent the last two Hugo seasons stuffing the ballot box for such science fiction gems as “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” by Chuck Tingle and “Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex” by Stix Hiscock.  But lately the Hugo Award has become routine.  To mix things up he has switched targets to concentrate on one of his favorite pink sf targets, John Scalzi.  Mr. Scalzi and Vox are old “friends.”  Scalzi was the president of the SFWA when Vox was ejected for his unsympathetic feelings toward the left wing of sf.  Vox has spent considerable time tweaking Scalzi whenever he sees an opportunity.  Such an opportunity has arisen.

Mr. Scalzi has written an homage to Asimov’s Foundation Series.  It is entitled The Collapsing Empire.  Vox under his authority as editor of the publishing company Castalia House has released a book called Corroding Empire by the interestingly named author Johan Kalsi.  Vox’s book debuted a day or so before the release date of Scalzi’s book and Amazon was forced to withdraw the Corroding Empire title based on its similar title and author name.  Whereupon Castalia has rebranded the book Corrosion and given as the author Harry Seldon (the hero of Asimov’s foundations stories).  From what I’ve read Corrosion is actually doing quite well.  How all this will turn out is anyone’s guess but as a spectator sport it has been highly entertaining.  But what about copying The Foundation story?  Is this heresy?  Should both sides be shunned?  I’ll tell you what I think.

When I was a kid Isaac Asimov was part of “The Big Three” sf writers (Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke).  I’ve written previously about Heinlein and in summary I think he remains a very important writer from the “Golden Age” and an excellent story teller with the usual exception here and there of bad work to prove that he ruled.

Back then I read all the Asimov that was available including his juvenile Lucky Starr books.  I thought he was very good and I thought his robot and Foundation books were among the best sf around.

Fast forward forty, fifty years and rereading some of these classics (specifically the Foundation Trilogy) I find, maybe not surprisingly, that they don’t hold up as remarkably well as the Heinlein books.  While the plot outline of the Foundation books is still engaging, the characters and the construction are kind of flat.  Truth be told, when I reread it I found myself rooting for the petty kings that surrounded the Foundation.  I thought it would make a more interesting story if the Mule not only reconquered the Galaxy but forced the Foundation scientists to fix his sterility and improve his health.  Thereafter he could go on to conquer the Andromeda Galaxy where there were nasty aliens that really needed their asses kicked by a telepathic mutant with a big nose which is what the story needed all along.  Sort of a galactic Game of Thrones with lots of scantily clad babes and plenty of gore.  Or something like that.

In the eighties or nineties Asimov wrote a sequel to Foundation (Foundation’s Edge).  Now remember, at that time I still thought the foundation books had been great.  I bought the sequel, read it in one sitting and was very confused.  It kind of sucked.  Asimov had become a tree hugger.  In the story the protagonist visits a planet that is based on a communal life force.  Every living thing is part of a collective consciousness.  At the end of the book the protagonist is supposed to decide whether the galaxy should be ruled by the First Foundation, the Second Foundation or Gaia (the collective tree-huggers).  He cops out to ensure a sequel but you can tell his heart is with the hippies.  My reaction was that he was a commie all along and I should go purge my collection of all Asimov.  After that he wrote some sequels to his robot books and I think at some point he merged the two series into some kind of fusion of the two.  So, what does all this mean?

It means that John Campbell gave Asimov a very good plot outline to write a story about (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (in space!) and Asimov did a very decent job with a good idea.  What it also means is that not everything from the good old days was all that good.  Asimov was famous for cranking out work at a tremendous rate.  Sometimes it shows.  Also, he doesn’t write people all that well.  Plot progression he handles pretty well.

My only other thoughts on Asimov is that he really thought robots were the solution to everything.  Once back in the late 1980’s I went to a lecture at Boston University.  The topic was the future and humanity.  Two of the speakers were brilliant physicists Freeman Dyson and Murray Gell-Mann.  Dyson had revolutionized quantum electrodynamics and Gell-Mann hypothesized the quark level of particle physics.  These guys were almost Einstein level geniuses.  Their discussion on the possibilities of human endeavor in the far future were dizzying.  Dyson was speculating on how humanity could engineer an escape from the entropic death of the universe and Gell-Mann discussed the possibilities for power generation based on the fine structure of particle physics.  The third speaker was Isaac Asimov.  He got up and said that the most important human endeavor was the creation of advanced robots.  He said when robots had the intelligence that a dog displays when it catches a ball in mid-air then all of humanity’s problems would be solved.  The other two speakers made polite noises and said that was very interesting.  But it seemed like they were embarrassed to be on the stage with this nut.  In retrospect, it’s interesting to remember that Asimov’s New York Yiddish accent made him sound a lot like Larry David.  It probably would make a fairly funny SNL skit if anyone cared about Isaac Asimov that much.  But it cemented my impression of Asimov as a doofus.  After all a robot is a tool.  No different from the invention of fire or the wheel.  It will be used and it will be abused but humans adapt to their environment and that includes the parts of our environment that we ourselves induce.

So Vox and Scalzi borrow away.  Asimov is not divine and his story was stolen from Gibbon first and handed to him by Campbell so what’s to steal?

Rabid Puppies 2017

Any fear that the annual Hugo debacle would be called off on account of boredom is allayed. Vox has posted his slate and it includes the now obligatory dinosaur buggery story. But there has been tactical change. The E Pluribus Hugo rules change means that attempting to monopolize every nominee spot is futile. So for the most part a single nominee is listed for each category. Some but not all of the nominees are Castalia House authors. For the VFM of Vox Day these choices (including “Alien Stripper Boned from Behind By the T-Rex” by Stix Hiscock!) are a duty that allows for no substitution. For others, these are a list of suggestions that provide choices that don’t correspond to a social justice slate. I’ve found Castalia House a very reliable source of enjoyable fiction. But of course, one man’s meat is another’s poison, so decide for yourself.
One interesting development that may or may not be related, Vox included File 770 as a pick for BEST FANZINE but that blog asked to be left out. Now, File 770 despises Vox and all things Puppy, so possibly this is one of those reactionary withdrawals but who knows?
So, I’ve got some reading to do. Although I can confirm that Deadpool would already be my choice for “BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM” (movie). I await also the lists that the Sad Puppies put out. These new choices from the various puppies, sad and rabid, are a boon to old timers like me who decades ago despaired of ever seeing old time fantasy and science fiction. If you are of a like mind I recommend you give the puppy choices a look see.

2017: The Dawn of the Age of the Deplorables

As I noted in my previous post, I spent a very nice week and a half relaxing and enjoying the Christmas holiday.  As part of that I read an awful lot of right wing and sort of right wing commentary.  And it occurred to me that things are definitely looking up on our side of the blogosphere.  Christmas Eve I watched the beginning of this five hour (!) set of interviews.

 

 

The host Stefan Molyneux has a series of videos where he interviews people about politics, philosophy, religion and life.  Ostensibly this series of interviews are about Christmas.  But that’s a jumping off point in some cases to discuss the year just passed and the new year coming up.  If you are not familiar with most of these people then I’ll say that they are spread across a continuum of ideologies starting on the left at about what used to pass for a liberal (but now would be too mild for the left today) all the way to some pretty hard core alt-right types.  Happily, for me, none of them here have joined the goose-stepping lunatics that abut this political neighborhood a little too closely for comfort.  But they are all unapologetic in their scorn for social justice warriors, America-haters and other lefty lunatic types that reflexively attack all things normal and good.  Some of them are not Trump fans, others came around by the end and some were predicting his win a year, ago.  But all of them are part of the new media.  They have cast their lot with the new way of reaching the people.  They run their own businesses and have their own audiences and get paid for telling a side of the story that the main stream media doesn’t tell.  They are more interesting and more relevant than most of what Fox provides and a thousand times better than the nonsense on CNN, ABC, NBC or CBS.  It’s very hard to predict if any of these folks will survive the brutal competition that exists in the media environment today.  I hope they do.  They inject humor and wit and points of view that aren’t permitted to exist on the network shows.  And interestingly they seem to be plugged into some of the trends that everyone else missed this year.  If that fact indicates a better grasp on what really will be happening in the near future, then maybe they’ll thrive.  I recommend that if you’re interested in what different voices are saying about our changing world then look around and see what’s going on.  You may be pleasantly surprised.  After all these are the deplorables that that Hillary warned us about and you remember how well that worked out for her!

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

Bring On the SFFexit

I was reading through the various Puppy blogs. Did I find despondency over the crushing Hugo debacle?

Nope. What I found was a growing consensus that it’s time to start separating from the Chorfs. Previously there was the hope that after some balance was achieved in the Hugos both sides would bury the hatchet and a live and let live arrangement would prevail. Last year’s asterisks and more so this year’s no awarding of perfectly legitimate and in some cases highly qualified nominees makes that unlikely. I think anger has hardened into hate.

It’s sort of like a marriage. When bickering turns into screaming it’s time for a marriage counselor. But when knives come out it’s time for the divorce court. It’s time to award custody of the silverware and figure out who gets stuck with the dog. Luckily that’s already been decided Fido (aka Hugo) is going to be gassed by Vox. Everything else gets divided according to the laws of nature. Fans who are ebullient over books that invent new pronouns for the nine billion new gender iterations will go to the Chorfs. Those who like their prose punctuated by hot lead will follow the Puppies. Everyone in between will have to search their souls and choose. They get Tor, we get Baen. They’ll get the kudos of academia, we’ll get the reviews on Amazon. Our books will feature scantily clad women, theirs will feature pastel colored dinosaurs. Everybody gets what they want.

So separate on all fronts. It’s time to start building. Build up separate author lists, separate sales strategies, separate awards (maybe the Dragons?), separate branding. Some of this is the result of the Puppy Kicking Campaigns and has become a sort of general boycott of the Chorfs and their enablers. Many people have already jumped on the Tor Boycott and inversely many are purposefully concentrating their book spending dollars on Baen, Castalia House and Puppy authors in particular. Of course no Chorf worth her salt would buy a puppy book anyway or any other book that didn’t include at least some element of social improvement so there’s really no change needed on that front.

I think the only thing that really needs to be done is branding and labeling. How to differentiate their stuff from ours? Neither side will want to sacrifice the science fiction and fantasy labels. Too important (and too valuable). We need some qualifiers, some adjectives.

Good vs Evil?

Strong vs Weak?

Dynamic vs Static?

Active vs Passive?

I think the real dichotomy is Fun vs Boring.

They’re boring. Let it be their new brand. When a reader goes to Barnes and Noble he should go to the BSFF shelf and choose the colorful covers full of gay dinosaurs and cat loving computers. That’s where he belongs. BS, boring stuff.

But if any of my grandsons asks me where to find “the good stuff” I’ll point him to the FSFF shelf and he’ll find space pirates and heroes and things blowing up. He’ll find that adventure hasn’t needed to change that much since Odysseus invented the Trojan Horse and Penelope preserved her home and family against war and time and hostile gods and welcomed him home. It’s still brave men and good women daring fate to win the day and live happily ever after. That’s exciting, that’s fun. FS, fun stuff.

But how do you brand something boring? How do you brand something fun? Easy, separate them and let people decide for themselves. But the key is separation. It’s like a hardware drawer filled with a mixture of ball bearing and razor blades. It’s confusing and you know something is wrong.  Totally different things that don’t belong together. And trying to grab one when you need it will be painful and frustrating when you grab the wrong one. But separated they can be used for their separate purposes. So let’s dump the razor blades into a different box and get rolling and have a ball.

Goodbye Chorfs. Enjoy your BS aisle. It’ll probably be pretty quiet over there.

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.