Those of you who have kids may remember their gifts to dad early on, which usually consisted of a mangled ashtray they made in art class, which you kept as a sacred treasure because your baby made it (yes, I still have a ceramic hedgehog from one of mine). Sometimes, though, when there was nothing to present from art class, the munchkins would go out and buy a hideous tie for dad’s birthday – a tie he would be embarrassed to wear were it from any source other than the child.
Yeah, that tie.
You don’t want to wear it, because Punkin spent hard-earned allowance money getting you that ugly tie as a present, and you want to honor that gesture by wearing it on a special occasion, so you pat them on the head and hug and kiss them, and they feel so good, because daddy likes their present!
Well, yesterday was Larry Correia’s birthday. Larry – the author of some of my favorite books, and the SJW-proclaimed International Lord of Hate – got a present for his special day from the Guardian’s resident Oozing Vagoo Damien Walter – an article on Dimwit’s Guardian blog critiquing Larry’s novels, as well as some other authors whom I love.I’m not linking to Dimwit’s ponderous swamp of viscous (no, not vicious – I meant viscous, as in gelatinous or mucusy), mangled pseudo-thought. You can use the Google Machine for his snark-filled, condescending screed “Hugo Awards: Reading the Sad Puppies’ Pets.” It’s also archived here. If there’s one thing clear from Dimwit’s blithering excretion, it’s that even though he claims to have read these authors’ books and found them to be clearly substandard, his idea of “reading” involves skimming a few pages of a single work, skimming a few others – maybe, asserting how awful they are, and then basing his
And he claims the Guardian pays him to read books! Perhaps they should ask for their money back, because he’s quite obviously incapable of reading – or at least comprehending – books he claims are oh-so-low class, they’re comparable to straight-to-video Dolph Lundgren films. Those damn proles.
OK, I like Dolph Lundgren. He’s fun – something that Dimwit obviously avoids like a bad case of the herp (which, he likely wouldn’t get anyway, because – really – who the hell would want to fuck that omega male?) – and contrary to what some supercilious twat wads believe, entertainment can not contain haughty, overbearing social or political messages and still be worthwhile.
Also, Dolph Lundgren is much smarter than Dimwit, the self-described “male feminist” who hasn’t been able to birth a book, even though the British government apparently paid him a grant to do so, but who apparently teaches writing, even though he’s apparently incapable of reading an entire book, let alone writing one even with taxpayer money incentives. Maybe Larry’s writing is a bit too complex for Dimwit.
Dolph Lundgren has a degree in chemistry from Washington State University, a degree in chemical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology, and a Master’s in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney. He also stars in movies people actually see, and is a much more recognizable persona than Dimwit. So Dimwit denigrating Lundgren is as laughable as Dimwit denigrating Larry Correia, who somehow manages to write entertaining stories, makes a great living, has a huge fan base, and unlike Dimwit, can actually write a book – a number of them, in fact – that people love to read.
I also note that aside from a few outliers, Dimwit’s blog averages about as many comments per entry as mine does – UNLESS he is writing about the Sad Puppies, which brings out the pusillanimous Puppy Kickers to pile on and pat one another on the back about how enlightened they are for hating that pulp fiction pablum. This tells me Dimwit simply trots out the Puppies when things get particularly slow on his Guardian blog, because let’s face it, folks – Dimwit needs the hits.
And that’s pretty much what he’s done in this latest gutless harangue.
For the last few years, the Hugo awards for science fiction have been campaigned against by a group of writers and fans calling themselves the Sad Puppies – mostly male, very white, and overwhelmingly conservative. Unhappy with sci-fi’s growing diversity, the Puppies have deliberately block-voted for certain titles to get them nominated for Hugos at the expense of a wider field. They say it is their goal to “poke the establishment in the eye” by nominating “unabashed pulp action that isn’t heavy-handed message fic”. I say it is to sponsor awful writers.
So Dimwit starts out with a deliberate lie, given that Sad Puppies 4 was run by all women, who are overwhelmingly libertarian, and that those “certain titles” recommended by the Puppies were voted on by anyone who has read a work and liked it, and included such SJW favorites as Ann Leckie.
Never let facts get in the way of your attempts to gain readership at the expense of the people whom you revile, but whose accomplishments you couldn’t hope to match, let alone exceed, Dimwit.
The Puppies have two criteria for what they deem excellence: does it turn a buck? And has the author dared to say anything, ever, that they disagree with? This, paired with their conspiracy theories about some big sci-fi publishers, means that they tend to champion mostly self-published authors. Nothing about quality – though you don’t need an in-depth knowledge of sci-fi to understand that a short story called Space Raptor Butt Invasion (yes, really) has not arrived on the Hugo lists because of its calibre.
Wow, what utter dreck! Fans nominated works they liked using whatever criteria they wanted. The organizers of Sad Puppies 4 spent a lot of time compiling recommendations based on those nominations in a completely open and transparent process. Larry Correia repeatedly and quite openly stated why he started the campaign in the first place – another piece Dimwit is apparently incapable of understanding. And, the Sad Puppies had nothing to do with “Space Raptor Butt Invasion,” no matter how hard Dimwit twists and strains to make that connection.
With this year’s Hugo awards coming on Saturday night in the US, I thought I’d read some of the authors championed by the Puppies. (Don’t ever say I don’t do anything for you.)
If you find meaning in straight-to-video Dolph Lundgren films, then Larry Correia’s novels will be your kind of read. Correia, accountant-turned-author-turned-Sad-Puppies-creator, kicked off his Monster Hunter series with Monster Hunter International, about an accountant whose boss turns into a monster. So he shoots him. In fact, much of the Monster Hunter series relies rather heavily on people the hero doesn’t like turning into monsters … so he can shoot them.
There’s a problem here. Dimwit either engages in seriously sloppy writing, or he read a few pages, saw a reference to a gun, shat himself in utter terror, and couldn’t continue reading.
Yes, the novel’s main character does shoot his boss at first, but since his boss is a werewolf, shooting him does nothing, so Owen Zastava Pitt subsequently kills his werewolf boss by chucking him out of a window, and dropping a desk on him. So by implying that Z kills the monster by shooting it, and then making absolutely false claims about the rest of the series, Dimwit is either a mediocre and careless writer, who hasn’t understood what he read, or he hasn’t actually read anything but the first few pages of Monster Hunter International, saw the passage about the shooting, got scared, hid under his desk for a while until the tremors subsided, predicted he’s read all he needs and that the rest would be much of the same, and proceeded to write about it.
My bet would be on the latter.
Because if it’s the former, then he’s guilty of the kind of writing crimes of which he accuses authors he doesn’t like.
Dimwit goes on to trash popular novelists such as Sarah A. Hoyt and Brad Torgersen, John C. Wright and Dave Freer, and anyone else whom he considers part of the Sad Puppy cisheteropatriarchaloppressors. He doesn’t get into details, other than to claim sentences are “mangled,” whatever that means, and accuses these talented writers of “vomiting onto the page” whatever passes through their heads.
This coming from someone whose claim to fame is proclaiming himself to be a “male feminist” and spewing out such literary feculence as “My Lovesick Zombie Boy Band.” I get this feeling Dimwit is just too stupid to understand words on a page, so he denigrates the authors in hopes of concealing his own inadequacies.
But the Sad Puppies don’t want any of their books to end up on bestseller lists or TV screens. It’s the same frustrating paradigm that British MP Michael Gove hit upon when he said that people were sick of experts, or what Donald Trump plays upon when he rails against “professional politicians”. We’re seeing the Dunning-Kruger effect played out on a mass scale, and the Sad Puppies are just a speck in that wider problem.
No, of course Sad Puppies don’t want their books on bestseller lists! Larry Correia winding up on Entertainment Weekly’s bestseller list and on the New York Times bestseller list must have been an accident! He didn’t want any of that! Totes unintentional!
You know, it’s amusing to see Dimwit flailing – allowing Larry not only to live rent-free in his head, but to flood the toilet, toss around stale pizza boxes, run up the pay-per-view bill, and stain the shag carpet. Larry had nothing to do with the Hugos this year. He declined his nomination last year. He’s ignored poor Dimwit, because Larry is doing what Larry does best – writing entertaining books for his fans and having fun.
And yet, here’s Dimwit, once again trying to get Larry’s attention, like a slow child presenting daddy with that ugly tie for Father’s Day.
Yep, this article is Dimwit’s ugly tie – published right on time for
dad’s Larry’s birthday.
Meanwhile, the talented, smart, generous authors beloved by fans and reviled by the SJW Howler Monkeys as melancholy juvenile canines, will continue selling books and thrilling their audiences.
That’s nice, Dimmy. Maybe daddy will wear your tie next time.
It’s always fun to read a novel written by a fellow immigrant – especially one who escaped from the same region of the world as I did, who consciously chose to become an American, and who appreciates the principles of freedom on which this nation is based. My fellow immigrants, especially those who were born and raised in oppressive environments have a unique appreciation for America. When you grow up in a place where you don’t have opportunities to excel, where corruption is the status quo, where what you read, watch and listen to is regulated by an ever-intrusive state, and where the citizens are rewarded for reporting suspicious activity to a tyrannical government and have no problem turning their friends and family in for a little extra booze or toilet paper, you feel like you begin to breathe again when you step foot onto U.S. soil.
So what happens when your adopted country careens toward the very thing you escaped?
Not every immigrant can write a killer novel, but Marina Fontaine has. Marina’s first novel “Chasing Freedom” avoids the usual mistakes by first time authors and liberty advocates who preach to death the ideology at the expense of the plot. Her book is not a delivery for her ideology. It’s an adventure story about love, perseverance, courage, corruption, the will to fight, and the will to live. I’m not going to post spoilers, because I do want you to pick up this book and read it.
I will tell you it’s focused on a dystopian America that is the logical conclusion of where we are headed if certain elements of society have their way – surveillance state, secret torture rooms for those daring to resist, corrupt government bureaucrats, propaganda, scarce resources, and lack of tolerance for dissent. Amidst over-regulation and lack of respect for human life, a resistance movement grows, featuring characters willing to sacrifice everything to gain freedom. The book focuses on the movement and how it grows. It tracks the resistance fighters from their teenage rebellion years to adulthood. It shows the progress they make and the emotional growth they experience on the way.
You can see how it would be easy to get preachy in this type of plot, but Marina avoids that trap, and presents a story filled with intrigue and action – a story that moves, a story that captures attention, and a story that impacts the heart. She doesn’t engage in lengthy descriptions of how horrible this futuristic America is. You will not find John Galt-length speeches in this book. She allows her characters’ distinct experiences to deliver that message. She doesn’t divide her characters into BAD GOVERNMENT and GOOD REBELS. She presents them as human, faulty, and real.
No, there’s no attempt to awkwardly shove diversity into the novel. It exists organically within the story, and there’s no need to push it.
Yes, there are hideously evil bureaucrats in this book, but not every character is black and white, not every resistance fighter is an angel, and not every government employee is a power-hungry, evil, sub-human piece of garbage.
And finally, what I really enjoyed about “Chasing Freedom” was that it didn’t focus on the darkness. Yes, it’s a pretty depressing vision of America. Yes, there are points that will break your heart. But at the same time, it’s a story of optimism – a refusal to surrender to the darkness and a brighter future.
Pick it up. You’ll like it.
When I wrote the other day that those who consider themselves the gatekeepers and elders in Science Fiction and Fantasy did not and still do not want any kind of real “reconciliation” with the Science Fiction fans known as the Sad Puppies, this is what I meant. The wonderful Kate Paulk addressed several issues on the entry on Brad’s blog I mentioned the other day, and she and I are in synch.
I’ve heard through the Internet (all right, Facebook) that someone who fancies himself a big shot in the field has “offered” to stop claiming Sad Puppies 4 is all things evil in return for a few “reasonable concessions” on our part.
Since the person in question hasn’t bothered to make this offer to me, Sarah Hoyt, or Amanda Green, Sad Puppy supporters can reasonably assume that the so-called offer is not actually genuine.
“Reasonable concessions?” Fuck you.
The Sad Puppies weren’t the ones calling others Nazis, racists, misogynists and other choice epithets.
The Sad Puppies weren’t the ones blowing up entire categories at the Hugo awards ceremony, merely because they did not want deserving candidates supported by the wrong kind of fans to win.
The Sad Puppies weren’t the ones prancing around, offensively giving out ASSterisks.
They certainly weren’t the ones spreading lies and misinformation.
And after all of that, the self-proclaimed protector of all that is right and good (only in the eyes of the “right” kind of fans) excuses the name-calling and vile accusations (Oh, come on! The name-calling was ignorable, and “pretty funny, actually”!) by claiming that the Sad Puppies “pissed [him] off,” and all the Sad Puppies really had to do was “First – give us some real indication that SP and RP are not ‘riding in the same car’. Second – drop the final stage of the SPIV effort. Leave it as a pure recommendation list. (It will save Kate a lot of work to boot.)”
And in return, said self-proclaimed protector of all that is right and good in TruFandom will refrain from attacking the Sad Puppies for a whole two weeks! Well, Jesus Christ on a Fucking Popsicle Stick! How noble and magnanimous of him!
Who the fuck do you think you are, shitstick? Prove to me that you’re not the Nazi misogynist racists we’ve repeatedly accused you of being without a shred of proof, quit nominating works you actually like, and I’ll stop attacking you for two weeks? Go sodomize yourself with a cactus dipped in battery acid!
Now, you see why I find George R. R. Martin’s essay claiming that the other side wants reconciliation to be disingenuous at best?
Kate’s response is exactly what mine would have been – with a lot fewer swear words.
We do not care what the creators’ politics are. We do not care what the posters’ politics are. We care that people who love science fiction and fantasy have a place to build an awesome list of recommended reading/viewing/listening/artwork for 2015. We care that lots of people become involved in the Hugo Award process. Nobody is excluded from Sad Puppies 4. Anybody can participate or not as they choose. The recommendations will not vanish. Every recommendation will be in the final list. There’s no “gatekeeping” going on here, and no litmus test for participation…unlike the ultimatums being “offered” to the Sad Puppies.
When the final list is announced, we’ll post the top 10 for each category, whatever those might be, and link to the full list. Nothing will be hidden or secret. Anyone who wants to will be able to reconstruct the list from the recommendations posted here (I don’t suggest anyone actually does this. It’s tedious and time-consuming and I really should have written an application to do the grunt work for me. Hindsight is ever perfect).
Finally, we will not be publicly dissociating or associating Sad Puppies 4 from/with anyone. Anyone can make recommendations and everyone’s recommendations will have exactly the same weight as everyone else’s. Nobody will be asked to nominate or vote in line with the list. That’s been the policy from the start, and it’s been what I’ve said from the start.
If the person claiming to have made an offer had actually contacted me, this is exactly what I would have told him with or without his so-called “Puppy moratorium”.
You want reconciliation? Recognize that the fiasco of last year was a slap in the face to a lot of fine folks who work in the field. Admit it. Stop painting the Sad Puppies with the broad brush of your hatred. Vote for works, authors, editors, and other producers in the field who deserve to win – regardless of who recommends them.
And most of all, stop being arrogant, supercilious, self important fuck weasels. Your “offer of reconciliation” is condescending, insolent crap, and I’m glad Kate gave you the well-deserved middle finger, asshole.
UPDATE: So apparently the arrogant, supercilious asshole is also a coward. A comment on Kate’s blog, which she hardly ever uses, popped up this morning with the following, which Kate copied in its entirety to the Sad Puppies 4 page.
you asked for “demands” to be sent directly to you, so I will comply:
But I will only do it in a comment on a site you barely ever use. Sad Puppies 4 gets more traffic, and dog forbid he post it there.
It is my considered belief that Sad Puppies can help repair the divide within fandom by taking two actions:
1. make your SPIV recommendation list a real recommendation list, similar to others that are perceived as recommendation lists (as opposed to slates) by dropping your final stage of compiling a “top ten”.
2. make it clear that Sad Puppies are not aligned with Rabid Puppies.
My side attacked good people, made false claims, overtly and subversively offended and made false accusations against fans, authors, and editors, and submarined talented people in the field, but YOU Sad Puppies are the problem! YOU Sad Puppies are guilty! YOU Sad Puppies need to conform to what I demand and what I judge to be a recommendation list, because I’m the arbiter of all light and good in SF/F. YOU Sad Puppies need to prove to ME that you are not what we have repeatedly accused you of being!
You and other Sad Puppies have repeatedly claimed that your lists are recommendations (‘like what Scalzi does every year’). However, they are not once you add that final stage of endorsement. Drop that final stage and no reasonable person would consider it anything other than what you claim you want it to be.
Kate’s response was the following – everything she has said before, but apparently Mr. Amazing has reading comprehension issues.
And, just so there is no doubt about any of this: Sarah, Amanda, and I will be doing exactly what I said we were doing in yesterday’s post. We will not accede to anyone’s demands. We will not prevent anyone from making recommendations. We will not associate ourselves with any other group and we will not dissociate ourselves from any other group. We are compiling a list of the works people think are the best in their class and eligible for the 2016 Hugo Awards. Nothing more and nothing less.
But apparently, that’s not good enough. Sad Puppies MUST clearly address the false accusations against them, because Steve-o says so.
You and other Sad Puppies have also claimed that SP and Rabid Puppies are not one and the same, yet we see plenty of commentary that strongly suggests otherwise. A statement by the leaders of SP IV to the contrary would go a long way.
Fuck you, Steve. Pulling out accusations from your ilk and claiming that as evidence that commentary suggests SP and RP are one and the same is a transparent attempt to malign a whole lot of people who not only find racism to be repugnant and sick, but also spent a lifetime fighting it.
Those are the two things that I believe would place Sad Puppies in a far better position in regards to acceptance within fandom as a whole. Doing those two things would lend far greater credence to your other arguments vis-a-vis the field.
There you have it, boys and girls. Steve doesn’t consider Sad Puppies real fans, and not only that but he’s apparently the arbiter of who receives what position in fandom as a whole.
Read Kate’s response, dick. That’s all you’re going to get.