solarbird: (utena)

I had a brief discussion on Twitter yesterday with one of the Rabid Puppies. A lot of it went like you’d expect – Vox is brilliant, they can’t lose, they’ve proven the existence of a “hidden slate” that was already rigging the Hugo awards (despite exactly zero evidence showing this – lack of evidence is apparently confirmation of the conspiracy?) and so on.

But a couple of tweets caught my eye. First, you have pretty much an admission that they know this is Vox’s revenge campaign:

Marc DuQuesne ‏#RabidPuppies argument is @voxday was accused of gaming the 2014 #HugoAwards, So he's been demonstrating what gaming actually is

Vox retweeted that, which I’m sure some would say isn’t necessarily an endorsement, but let’s be real, it is. And it’s very popular with his fans.

But more interestingly: I’ve long held out the point that the foundation of the Sad Puppy argument can be summarised as, “we don’t like the winners, therefore nobody can, therefore FRAUD!” – that the entire Puppy crowd can’t even admit that voters not voting in slate actually liked what they were voting for, it was all political and secret-conspiracy. And I got that argument from him, more or less:

Marc DuQuesne ‏Exactly! That's why the #SadPuppies and #RabidPuppies formed, because overt slates are the best way to fight covert slates.

Marc DuQuesne ‏The sad argument is that low participation was causing skewing to virtue signaling instead of good work.

Virtue signalling instead of good work.

They still can’t even conceive of the idea that people actually like what they’re voting for, it had to be an invisible covert political slate, so they have to mount an organised and expensive political slate to create the results that “should” have happened. (“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,” I guess.)

That’s really insulting, as has been so much of the Puppy effort. But don’t miss this new buzz-phrase, virtue signalling.

Isn’t that neat? I thought maybe it was a one-off, but no, apparently, it’s their replacement for political correctness. They’ve realised that the PC thing doesn’t fly anymore, so they’re trying out a new, substitute phrase.

And the neat thing about that is that you now have “virtue” being used as a negative by the alt-right/reactionary crowd, just as they use “justice” as a negative. Political correctness had at least some degree of neutrality to it, but now, virtue signalling – a.k.a., not being a douchebag – and social justice warrior – a.k.a., opposing injustice? Bad? Apparently. So now we have “virtue” and “justice” both being portrayed as negatives, and undesirable.

Sometimes, my band shtick feels like it just gets more and more appropriate by the day. At least, I guess, whether they realise that or not, they’re laying their cards on the table.

This is a part of a series of posts on the 2015/2016 Hugo Awards capture by a rightist political group whose focus has now shifted to destroying the awards.

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solarbird: (zoe-and-doctor-and-brig)
Okay, I knew that Peter Capaldi was a Doctor Who fan as a kid, but I did not realise until now exactly how big a fanboy he was, and this is pretty darned adorable:
solarbird: (not_in_the_mood)

The Puppies made another attempt to game a system last week, but it fell apart rather hilariously.

The first notice it got was a lot of very negative commentary all at once on a negative review of one of the oberpuppyführer Vox Day’s collections; Lis Carey left a note about it in File 770‘s comments section. And File 770 also found a post about it on Vox’s blog. (Linked via DoNotLink).

Well, it gets dumber from there. Sean O’Hara started poking around, and found that there was a Secret Puppy Goodreads Group*, formed with the explicit intention of gaming the site by bombing “SJW” reviewers and authors with negative reviews and ratings, and uprating all Puppy-affiliated works. The problem is, while it was a limited-access group – well, I’ll hand it to Sean:

Too bad for him the only thing keeping out the SJWs was a challenge question that could be answered with a simple Google search. By Saturday night I had access to the group. I didn’t know what to do — undermine him from the inside, play Serpico and leak screenshots on a piecemeal basis, or save them up for a big reveal. The last one seemed the best way not to get caught until I had a good collection of dirt, and I was strongly leaning in that direction.

But after reading File770’s news roundup yesterday, which included a story about someone being ganged up on by Day and his goons, I decided it might be better to give warning where I could.

Here are a collection of screenshots from that group.

And apparently, while Goodreads is a bit of a mess sometimes, that was simply too much for them, and they banned the whole lot of them, with Vox himself being singled out for permanent lockout.

Vox has, of course, claimed victory. (Also a DoNotLink link.)

It’s kind of sad at this point, really. The problem is that the crazy neighbour is only so funny, because sooner or later, they might just bring in a bunch of friends from out of state and take over a wildlife refuge centre, and then it’s not so much fun anymore.

And since we’re talking Puppies, I might as well point at this takedown by Scott Lynch of John C. Wright’s accusations against Patrick Nielsen Hayden at Worldcon, supported by all witnesses who aren’t John C. Wright. I don’t think anyone outside the reactionary rightist circle has a lot of fucks go give about Mr. Wright – remember, this is the guy who came to my blog threatening to sue me for libel after I quoted him accurately and in context. That’s the kind of reality-disassociated sad muppet he is. But I saw his new post, “Stormbunnies and Crybullies”, responding (quite negatively) to George R. R. Martin’s recent call for winding down this fanwar, and one paragraph stood out:

But I am a forgiving man, jovial and magnanimous. I make the following peace offer: Go your way. Cease to interfere with me and my livelihood, do your work, cease to libel me and meddle with my affairs, withhold your tongue from venom and your works from wickedness, and we shall all get along famously.

Emphasis added.

Don’t write what I don’t like, and we’ll get on fine.

I’m the kind of person he doesn’t want to exist. I’m several kinds of people he doesn’t want to see being written about. (You might recall John as the person who so passionately hated Korra from The Legend of Korra, explicitly and specifically because she’s bi. He’s one of those hate-the-sin love-the-sinners whose idea of “love” is making people like me illegal.)

So if we all just stop writing about uppity women and those horrible queers and faggots – all of whom, as you’ll recall, should be beaten to death with ax-handles and tire irons – we’ll get along just fine.

The only ‘peace’ these guys can imagine is complete and utter submission to them. No wonder they have such a fascination with ISIL and the like; it’s a mirror. So do everything by their rules, on their terms, all the time, and always, always give them exactly what they want and do nothing else, and we’ll be just fine.

Stalin would be proud.

I was thinking about pasting in one of the stop liking what I don’t like memes as an ending for this post, but that doesn’t really work, because that’s just about childish frustration and confusion. This, by contrast, is childish frustration and confusion pupated into man-child quasi-fascism, and I don’t have a properly-fitting caption.

But I might have a good animated gif.

Even Kylo Ren is a more complex character than any of these people.

And I just don’t know where to go with that.

*: eta: The original post is missing. I don’t know why. This was the original link: and here is a still-valid Google cache as of 2016/01/05 21:45 Cascadian Standard Time.


This is part of a series of posts on the Sad/Rabid Puppy candidate slate-based capture of the Hugo Awards, and resulting fallout.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (sulu_oh_my)
The largest cargo ship ever built just docked after its maiden voyage, in Los Angeles. Look at this goddamn thing. Particularly the second photo. It looks like something out of Thunderbirds. Gerry and Sylvia would've gone, "...I dunno, you think it's a little much?" and then said "eh no let's go for it it's the future, right?" and been nervous on set.

Particularly that second shot looks like Thunderbirds. SUPERMARIONATION IS REAL

eta: I misgrouped words when reading! It's not the (largest cargo ship ever) visiting (North America) in Los Angeles; it's the (largest cargo ship) (ever visiting North America) in Los Angeles. So it's the largest cargo ship to visit North America.

Mind you, it's still up there. It's in the list of the largest, and very near the top. But.
solarbird: (korra-fruck-out)
Okay, so, we just watched Revenge of the Sith, and... as everyone said, it's the least bad of the prequel trilogy. I was expecting that. And I was going along with it, letting some of the dumbest shit go, and seeing how some things actually kind of worked kind of okay, even if other things often didn't, and then, we're getting seriously into the meat of the film, and...

...I swear to the gods I was not expecting this...

...there is a moment of cinema. Actual, honest, sincere, working cinema. No dialogue, nearly no action, just camera, just actors being allowed - for once! - to act, and it is beautiful.

And it punched me in the gut. Hard. Partly because for the first time, I felt some kind of emotional connection to these characters. Woah, Not Expecting That, as they say. Partly because a critical relationship is sold to me, for the only time. Partly because bad decisions are being made that will create the situation we see later. But mostly...

...mostly because, goddammit, it showed, it showed through, it showed clear, that somewhere, somehow, lost inside that pompous egomaniac, that delusional businessman hooked on his own legend, that raving CGI-set addict who couldn't direct actors to find lunch...

...there is still a filmmaker. It hurts. I started yelling, no, really, I did, at Anna, going, "WHAT THE HELL? WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED? THAT WAS CINEMA, WHAT? HOW? WHAT IS IT DOING IN THIS MESS?"

And it's just such a goddamn shame there's no Luke Skywalker around to make him realise that.

Revenge of the Sith is still not a good film. One precious moment of genuine art does not salvage what otherwise succeeds merely by virtue of not being wretched. There are several moments of competence, and several near-misses - and this time, there really are enough bones to make a good film. You can tell. You really can see it, in this one - partly, I think, because for one, brief moment, it actually is a good film.

Which makes the rest even harder to take.

Goddammit, George. Gods dammit.
solarbird: (Default)
See now I'm not done. I thought I was done with Attack of the Clones commentary. But I'm not done. Because here's the thing:

I saw Attack of the Clones in the theatres, right? And I fell asleep during it, somewhere early middle, and woke up a little later, not having missed much.

Having managed - barely! - to stay awake the entire film this time, I can tell you now I was out in that theatre for a solid 45 minutes. And why didn't I know it was a solid 45 minutes at the time?


Seriously, there was like another 45 minutes to this film I'd never seen. I had no idea any of it was there. Some of it I have seen in clips later and presumed it was from Revenge of the Sith. I am serious when I say this isn't "did I forget this part?" territory, this was "is this a new cut because George does that" territory, but it's not a new cut, it's just that all those minutes are that completely and utterly a total waste of screen time.
solarbird: (Lecturing)
Sorry folks, Machete Order doesn't make Attack of the Clones any better. Tho' this time I did manage - barely - to stay awake, so perhaps I'm wrong - perhaps that order is why.

But I do understand all the fan edits now, just because christ, the editing on Clones was terrible. So much wasted time, so much pointlessness - it's just full of the kind of waste that makes you think, "Yeah, you know, I could edit this into shape." I think that's an illusion, because it's bullshit all the way down, but it makes you want to think that.

I had someone tell me on Facebook after I commented about this there, and I'm all like NO YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT, COUNT CRAPULA IS A TELL, HE'S CALLED "DOOKU" FOR A REASON. Sure, the three-sentence summary of this plot could be turned into a good movie, but the three-sentence summary of Plan 9 from Outer Space could be too. (And arguably it's called Captain Scarlet vs. the Mysterons, which is excellent, and proves my point.)

There aren't even good bones. Well, okay, maybe a few. But not enough to make a skeleton.
solarbird: (Default)
The new MST3K series Kickstarter is down to its final 57 hours - they've raised the money for nine new episodes, and still have a shot at 12. Here's the URL:

You have to look at the progress bar rather than the total on the right, because the total on the right doesn't include add-ons people purchased. But those do count towards the total goal.

There are also more bonuses left to unlock, so if you've been sitting on the fence, you're guaranteed nine episodes and there's a shot at 12, so go do the pledging now.
solarbird: (zoe-and-doctor-who)
Okay, I'm gonna admit it: The Zygon Inversion was fucking great. The first half, Zygon Invasion, totally a mess, made me sour and start to think about withdrawing my tentative probation on this (admittedly much better than last year) series, but the second half that we finally watched actually made it entirely worthwhile.

Jenna Coleman is crushing it this series. Holy hell that was an amazing set of performances. I now actually care that she's leaving after this, and am sad about it.

solarbird: (Default)
So yeah, hey, I went to VCON 40!

It's a little bit of a blur, mostly thanks to too much fun crammed into too few days followed by unfortunate con crud. All of the panels I was on went really well, and most were heavily attended - the exception being Sunday morning at 10am on self-publishing, that one not so much. None of us were awake, and by "us," I mean "VCON members" - this is a pretty seriously late-nite con.

I hung out with the hot tub crowd for a bit, and one of the surprisingly large number of fem!Sheps (the two most technically impressive were in the masquerade, see below) kept me in alcohol and unexpected affection. I got to wave papers in the air like a five-cent street-corner Leninist during the Puppies panel and that's always a good day.

They had a Family/Fannish Feud PM game-show that was not remotely worksafe but our team didn't make it up on stage, which is a damn shame. They also had super-snazzy technology that my version from some years ago didn't have and it was pretty sweet - you can see the projector in shots from below.

Captain Canuck picked up Steve Rogers and his punching bag, which was pretty hilarious but didn't stay posed long enough for me to get a shot. The Turkey Readings - wherein terrible works of fiction are read and acted out by audience members, with the rest of the audience bidding in cash to make them stop - had some new people and some prime material this year.

The Dead Dog almost imploded, because the hotel totally didn't separate "quiet" and "party" spaces and shut it down, even though I have it on good authority that this was in the contract and there will be repercussions, and everyone including everybody snuck off Elsewhere to By God We Will Have a Dead-Dog and did. When I left just before 4am, it was still going pretty strong - just every so often we had to suddenly All Be Very Quiet, with concordant shushing and sssssssssh and apparently being a party made up entirely of snakes.

Ain't no party like a Slytherin party, is what I'm saying.

So, yeah! Bought next year's memberships already, will be there for 41. You should too, it's great.

Guests of Honour

Fannish Family Feud
The room was actually packed, the empty seats are where the two teams
were sitting before they went up on stage.

Holy Shit It's Finally October of 2015 And Marty is Here
I kept calling him Calvin.

Masquerade Winners

I found an alchemist and loaded up on void, fire, and frost salts
Time to make some potions!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (Default)
Anybody got a spare geekgirlcon pass they aren't using? I tried to buy passes late, but still during sales time, but none of my attempts to pay for them actually went through. (Thanks a pantload, PayPal!) So... anybody got a spare they can't use?
solarbird: (sb-worldcon-cascadia)

I am reminded by comments that I never said what actually happened with “E Pluribus Hugo.” Somehow that part just escaped me.

It passed round one. Strongly. I had expected “4 of 6″ to have an easy time, and it barely cleared the majority hurdle. I had expected “E Pluribus Hugo” to be a real fight, and instead, we had a strong supermajority.

Now, it takes two WSFS Business Meetings to ratify anything. So our debate and vote was only round one. “E Pluribus Hugo” has now been sent to MidAmeriCon II, the 2016 World Science Fiction Convention and site of the 2016 WSFS Business Meeting, for final ratification. It may be debated, modified only in small ways that do not change the overall structure, and rejected or ratified.

If it’s ratified, it takes effect immediately; the 2017 Hugo Awards nominations would be under this system. If rejected, well, it’s rejected, and dead. We’d have to start over.

So if you’re going to MidAmeriCon II in 2016, you’ll want to go to the business meetings. We’ll likely all be needed to get this through.

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solarbird: (sb-worldcon-cascadia)

So last time, we were talking about the World Science Fiction Society Business Meeting, and all the proposals and such that were brought forth. The main event, of course, was E Pluribus Hugo – an amendment to modify the Hugo voting system to reduce the disproportionate impact of slate voters.

As a reminder, let’s go over what happened: about 13%-15% of voters participated in a mass slate vote – with pretty good but not perfect discipline – to support a slate which was specifically political in intent. As a result, they captured all the nominations in several important categories.

All those categories ended up going to NO AWARD as fandom decided to punish the slate activists for violating several decades of “we won’t do this” consensus. It wasn’t that the exploit was unknown; it was merely that using it had been considered socially unacceptable. Thou shalt not campaign, thou shalt not form parties, and so on. And the reason is simple: one party vs. unorganised parties always wins, so competing parties always arise in response, and the value of such an award – an award which has become purely a political football – is exactly zero.

E Pluribus Hugo changes the system in such a way that it reduces slates to their strongest candidates relative to their percentage of the total popular vote. It does not eliminate slates entirely, though it does reduce their presence on the final ballot to match the percentage of people voting for them; it does not single them out for special treatment; most of all, it does not need to be told, “this is a slate, discount it.” That judgement call never happens. It’s purely the fallout of the math.

The way it works is simple. Each category is treated separately, just like now. Each WSFS member gets to nominate up to five works in category, just like now – in fact, nothing the WSFS nominator does changes.

Each of these ballots gets assigned one point, which is split across all works nominated. In a full ballot of five nominees, each work would have 0.2 points, as well as one vote each, from a member.

The point total and vote total of all the nominated works from all ballots are added up. Then, the two works with the fewest points are pitted against each other, and the one with fewer votes – the one for whom fewer people voted – is eliminated.

This is important, because the point total never eliminates an nominee. Getting fewer votes eliminates a nominee. Total votes received remains the final call.

Once a work is eliminated, it is stricken from all ballots, and we start over again. If you nominated five works originally, and one was eliminated, your ballot now has four nominees, and each of those have a higher point value than before – a quarter point (0.25) instead of a fifth of a point (0.20). And the same steps are run through again, exactly as before.

Wash, rinse, repeat, removing the weakest each time, until five nominees remain; that is your final slate.

What this does in practice is start pitting slate entries against each other roughly midway through the tallying process. Assuming they have even reasonable support, the strongest – the one with the most people voting for it, which implies out-of-slate support – will emerge. If the slate is sufficiently weak, none of them will emerge, but for practical purposes, the number of survivors will be roughly proportional to the percentage of popular vote actually received.

“But Solarbird,” I hear you cry, “This lets some nominations from slates get on the ballot!” True! But only in proportion to their actual popular support. And in the event of political slates, it means we do not have to go to the NO AWARD option to block them.

Let’s say the events of this year were repeated under this system; with statistical approximations of real data, we’re pretty sure one of the Puppy candidates probably would’ve made it onto the ballot in most of their categories. It would’ve been the strongest; the one with the most outside support.

And that’s okay. If it’s crap, it’ll finish last, maybe behind NO AWARD, maybe not. But there will be four other nominees, because they’ll have the percentage of the ballot that aligns with their actual bulk support.

The rest of the ballot will provide a diversity of choices. We won’t have another year of five NO AWARD votes.

(And if it’s actually good – great! That’s kind of the point. Vote for it.)

This makes opposition slates completely unnecessary. Opposition slates arise when they are the only way to get non-slate works onto a ballot. Under the current system, that outcome is inevitable. Under E Pluribus Hugo, even if you do get an opposition slate, well, okay, maybe they get one nominee on the ballot too. That leaves three for traditional candidates.

Slates are a lot of work. Politically-minded slates are just as much work, even when the mighty power of spite drives the engines. So if you can’t stick it to the Whoevers without literally becoming the entire show, if you can’t lock them all out, then even all the ressentiment in the world probably won’t drive you to continue. There’s too much work and too little reward. There’s simply no point to it.

The system isn’t even political. It’ll reduce, say, an accidental Doctor Who episode slate down to its proportion of the vote just as effectively. Let’s say 60% of WSFS fandom puts down basically the same five episodes of Doctor Who for Dramatic Presentation – Short Form. Right now, they own the entire ballot. Under E Pluribus Hugo, they own 60% of the ballot, and other works can be considered too.

Because that’s the brilliance of it. I said this before, but it’s really important, so I’m going to say it again:

E Pluribus Hugo doesn’t know about intentional slates. It doesn’t need to be told, “this is a slate.” Nobody has to make that call, because it doesn’t matter. It’s kind of like a normalisation function applied to nominations. There are no arguments over whether a pattern or voting is intentional or a plot or intent or political – a lot of identical ballots will be normalised to a first-order approximation of their actual popular support, regardless.

That’s why it’s so elegant, and that’s why it’s so genius. It doesn’t lock anybody out; it just stops campaigns from locking everyone else out, dramatically reducing their value vs. their labour and monetary cost, and eliminating the incentive for opposition parties.

For me, that is fair. For me, that is enough.

I hope that, for the honest flank of the Sad Puppies, it will also be enough. One self-identified Sad came up and voiced active support for E Pluribus Hugo during the business meeting. Those who actually believe in the mythical SJW VOTER CABAL – which was emphatically demonstrated not to exist by the events of this year, but stick with me – will know that E Pluribus Hugo would normalise this supposed SJW CABAL slate just as effectively.

Is it sad that we’ve reached a point where this sort of engineering is necessary? Eh, maybe. Probably, even. But it has driven fandom to create what even some opponents at the business meeting called a more perfect nominating system.

Yes, it’s tedious as all hell to do by hand, but it can be done. Yes, it’s more complicated – but not much. It’s only a little different than what we do for final voting and for site selection already.

Yes, it’s more work for the Hugo administrators. That’s the downside. But from what I was hearing at the business meeting, there are a good number of inefficiencies in the current tallying system. Fix those, and the extra complexity of this system sounds to me like a wash. Develop the right tools – which there is now incentive to do – and you’re maybe looking at an improvement.

Do this right, and everybody wins. Everybody wins.

We have a chance here not just to “plug this one hole,” as the E Pluribus Hugo authors like to say their amendment does. We have a chance to make this whole system just a little bit better along the way.

Wouldn’t that be nice?


This part of a series of posts on the Sad/Rabid Puppy candidate slate-based capture of the Hugo Awards, and resulting fallout.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (sb-worldcon-cascadia)

So. Where do we start?

It is far too late to start at the beginning, so let’s start where we last left off.

Those of us who have been calling for a NO AWARD vote above any slate nominee for the Hugo have, I am told, won. We have doubled the number of NO AWARDs given throughout the previous history of the awards, and blocked the meaningful slate candidates pretty much in their entirety. We are being congratulated, and for that, I thank you.

But I cannot consider this winning. I consider it… oh, let’s call it the least bad possible disaster given the position in which their machinations put us. That’s important. It shows that the large influx of supporting members who voted were not a Puppy rush. It shows that World Science Fiction Society fandom cares about the Hugo awards quite a bit, in fact, and thank you very much. It shows that gaming the system and violating decades of voting tradition will not be rewarded. Well done, fandom.

But it is not a “win.” It is not even a victory, because it does not end anything.

There are many who have said that a resounding defeat for political slates on this order would discourage them, and they would not return again. They say that any changes to the Hugo voting system are premature, even though any such changes would require at least two years – and two rounds of endorsement by WSFS fandom – to take effect.

That assertion has consistently struck me as naive at best. Movements driven by ressentiment are actually fuelled by defeat, at least in the short term. It merely proves to them that what they rightfully own and deserve has been stolen, unjustly, by the undeserving – which was in fact the line on Twitter from slate supporters on the night of the Hugos.

And further, as you can see in the tweet above, Rabid leader Vox Day has already promised another run at it, telling Wired that his intent has been to destroy the Hugo awards altogether – to, and I quote, “leave a big smoking hole where the Hugo Awards were.” Again in his words, “All this has ever been is a giant Fuck You — one massive gesture of contempt.”

He also claims to have an army of people who are not fans at all, and are “very anti-SJW [and] said, ‘Okay, we want to get in on this.'” And recruitment into the GamerGate misogynist crowd was certainly ramped up that night.

I don’t know that this continuing activism and agitation will convince the honest naysayers – those against reform for non-slate-related reasons, who are convinced this is an anomaly – that this problem is ongoing. I hope it will, but… I have my doubts.


My big worry was that there would be a large and organised Rabid presence at Worldcon, and/or at the business meeting. I actually did not think it was likely – though signing in to the first meeting immediately after Lou “Let’s Set the Cops on a Guest of Honour” Antonelli didn’t make me feel any better.

But a distinguishing characteristic of the GamerGate phenomenon has been an unwillingness to appear in person. It’s not completely unknown – a GamerGate faction lied their way into a booth at a gaming convention last year, and disrupted several panels before they were ejected – but it’s rare.

And in one of those cases where no news really is good news, there was no organised disruption. There were a couple of very minor incidents – such as a really nasty flyer left anonymously on the flyer rack, claiming to be from SFWA – but nothing on a genuinely large scale.

And there were self-identified members of the Puppies present. But they were of the Sad faction, at least some of whom are actual fans – regardless of their actions regarding these Hugos – and had every right to be there. And they behaved, for the most part. One did leap to accuse me of slander during the Business Meeting, but sat down when told he was both wrong by definition and that his motion was Not Well Taken by the Chair. There were a couple of dramatic Storming Outs – including one by Lou Antonelli someone unidentified (see comments) at the Hugo awards ceremony – but that’s all well within the range of ordinary fannishness. I’ve seen bigger drama over points of canon in Tolkien.

So as is the history with these things, when it comes to taking action in person… you don’t tend to see these people showing up so much. Will that continue? We can’t know, but we can hope.

And so, while the business meetings may’ve run very long, and spanned four days instead of three, we got a lot done. In particular, there are two voting reform proposals which passed first reading and were passed on for final ratification next year, one of which I support strongly, the other of which I oppose just as strongly. And I will talk about both, later this week.

This part of a series of posts on the Sad/Rabid Puppy candidate slate-based capture of the Hugo Awards, and resulting fallout.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (molly-brave-embers)

The Sasquan Worldcon Committee have decided to override their harassment committee’s initial decision to to refund Mr. Antonelli’s membership – Mr. Antonelli being the Puppy slate nominee who attempted a slow-mo SWAT of David Gerrold – and allow him to attend the convention.

In the executive committee’s statement, they say that Mr. Gerrold asked them to do this; that Mr. Gerrold believes that as a Hugo nominee – however dubious – Mr. Antonelli should be allowed to attend. As Mr. Gerrold was the target of the SWAT, I can accept that decision, if somewhat grudgingly.

But they did not mention Ms. Cuinn, who received a fleet of death and rape threats after withdrawing her acceptance of Mr. Antonelli’s story following this matter. I have expressed my displeasure, saying that they should’ve contacted her, too, and made sure she was okay with that.

They have replied, saying they did talk to her and she did agree with the reversal in this case. eta: THIS IS CONTESTED. THIS HAS BEEN REDACTED. See below. I can grudgingly accept that, as well. (Tho’ – let’s be honest here – once Mr. Gerrold gave his nod, there was no way she couldn’t go along without being socially eviscerated.)

But that they did so was not in their statement, so I had no way of knowing. I have suggested her assent in this belongs there, as well; at least one person from the committee agrees.

Given that the systematic harassment of women through rape and death threats has been such an endemic problem over the last few years, I am somewhat disappointed they didn’t realise that needed to be addressed publicly. However, the more important part is that they did contact her, and did get her signoff. I just wish they had taken a moment to say so.

eta: More and more complicated. Ms. Cuinn says she was not contacted about banning Mr. Antonelli, and did not sign off on that with the concom. She says here that she was contacted about whether she wanted an investigation, but that’s different. She also says at that post (as a personal statement?) that Mr. Antonelli shouldn’t be banned because of what he threw at her – even though she does not believe his apology or that he didn’t know his crowd would go after her. But that’s not the same as signing off on the committee’s decision.

eta2: Sasquan concom member Marah Searle-Kovacevic apologises for her misstatement, and confirms Ms. Cuinn’s version. [grab]

eta3: This leaves me in a rather odd position, really. Not in any sense of “what’s being said by whom,” but in the sense of how I feel about this. I was grudgingly okay based on misinformation, and I am less so on the actual information. But how much, I do not know.

I mean, this is a high level of abuse. Even if the Slo-mo SWAT letter undoubtedly had “crackpot” written all over it, it’s still a crackpot dousing somebody in honey and whistling for bears. (The crackpot part comes in when you apparently think that bears care if you whistle.)

And then you get the hounds let loose on Ms. Cuinn. Yeah, I get it, it didn’t take place at the convention, and didn’t involve a guest. But it was direct fallout from an event that totally did, and the scooch-scooch-scooch-scooch-phew-we-can-not-care-about-this-on-a-technicality doesn’t entirely sit well with me.

No sir – I don’t like it. Not one little bit. And I don’t have a good answer beyond that.

eta4: Pretty Terrible is Pretty Clear about how she feels about it.

This part of a series of posts on the Sad/Rabid Puppy candidate slate-based capture of the Hugo Awards, and resulting fallout.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

So, as predictably as rain is wet, the Puppies have declared a boycott on Tor Books unless they get a swath of demands met, including apologies from Tor for true statements made by people who are not Tor employees. While the most famous of the white supremacists in the Puppy movement didn’t start it – this guy didthe oberpuppyführer has, of course, endorsed it. So has the Internet’s biggest Korrasami hater, and some others, too.

Anyway, the demands are ludicrous, but to summarise:

  • Tor must publicly apologize for writings by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Moshe Feder, Irene Gallo, and John Scalzi that “demonize, denigrate, slander and lie about the ‘Puppies’ campaigns”
  • Tor must “publicly reprimand those individuals for stepping over the line”
  • Tor must “publicly indicate that it is putting in place policies to prevent any recurrence of such issues.”

See, this is exactly what you get when you hang one of your own out to dry for making personal comments on their own Facebook page like Tor did. You get escalation. So I’m honestly having a hard time feeling sorry for Tor Books here; it was as predictable a piece of politics as one can imagine. And I’m not just saying that in retrospect; I said so at the time.

Now mind you, this “boycott” is pretty must sad-trumpet amateur hour for several reasons, not the least is probable inability to make visible economic impact. As Vox himself admitted, he hasn’t bought anything from Tor in years, and I doubt all that many of the others who are going to sign on to this thing have either. A few, sure, absolutely – with the hilarious side-effect that means the writers they might be able to hurt are the ones on their side.

But even were it all of them, I have to wonder – how small a pond do they think this is? As I’ve, again, written before, if you want an effective boycott, you need three things: 1) a specific and reachable goal, 2) the ability to have economic effect, and 3) a functional alternative to the thing you’re boycotting.

They don’t have these conditions met. They have maybe half a point on item one: there are stated demands. But the thing is, those demands are mostly stalking horses for greater goals, and the Puppies have already proven they will unilaterally escalate. Therefore, no one sensible should assume those demands will be stable here, either. Meet them, more will arise. It’s like Hydra.

Plus, and this should not be left unsaid, their demands are simply ludicrous. But moving on.

They have more than half a point on item three, the alternative – they have a mishmash of selfpub (which, as we know, is Real Publishing for Real Men Now, apparently) and small-press, particularly the Oberpuppyfurher’s small press. (“Shocked! Shocked to discover there might be economic motive to my political boycott!”) Plus, there are plenty of other publishing houses. So maybe a full point, but so much of their work is Campbell-reject shenanigans that I don’t think it really matters.

And most importantly, they have exactly fuck and all on item two. “Oh look, a few dozen people who hate us and don’t read what we publish are calling a boycott.” “‘K.” The whole “muzzle a whole fleet of people or we’ll ruin you” threat doesn’t have a lot of bite if you can’t pull it off. And their 10%-of-the-vote crowd simply can’t.

Sure, they managed to game the Hugo system with numbers that small, because nobody else was block voting; parties vs. no party always win. But that trick doesn’t work when everybody is throwing dollars around for things they actually want and there’s no shortlist to pack. It’s not the kind of closed environment where these tricks work.

Plus – and this is probably my favourite part of this particular fail – the political movement whose original rallying cry was “Heinlein couldn’t win a Hugo today” is now boycotting Robert Heinlein’s publisher.

I guess keeping him off the Hugo ballot this year just wasn’t enough. Man, they just must hate Heinlein.

So, in conclusion: doomed.

eta: Steven Savile on Facebook claims Puppy leader Torgersen told him this was all about exposure, and wasn’t ever about the Hugo awards, back at a Writers of the Future event.

This part of a series of posts on the Sad/Rabid Puppy candidate slate-based capture of the Hugo Awards, and resulting fallout.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (fascist sons o bitches)

A couple of days ago, John Scalzi signed a 13-book deal worth 3.4 million dollars. That’s pretty good for somebody that the Sad Puppies like to claim nobody really wants to read, and pretty good for someone the puppies like to say writes only the sorts of things that nobody wants to read. Basically, they’ve been accusing “SJW” writers of driving readers out of fandom, and he’s a really poorly-chosen poster boy.

So that’s pretty funny, but not funny enough yet, because you know white supremacist and oberpuppyführer Vox Day would come up with some way to spin this, right? Of course he would. The thing is, there’s no way to do it which is not unintentionally hilarious, and Vox delivers. Seriously, this is some always-at-war-with-Eurasia spinning, wherein the new line is that Real Men Self-Publish, and that’s what’s Real Writing now, not this multi-million-dollar major-publishing-house bullshit. Self-pub is the only true pub.

NO, REALLY, THAT’S THE NEW PARTY LINE. That’s a We Hunted the Mammoth link, because I’m not in the mood to link to Vox under the best of circumstances, which I suppose really, these are. But there are extensive quotes at the link. Go look, it’s a riot.

Confused? Lots more on the Hugo Awards/Sad Puppies mess here.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (Default)
I kind of want to get a custom-made license plate frame. I've never bothered with anything like this before, but then again, I've never named a car before either. I'm kind of thinking of something like this:


"CF BSG75" is Colonial Fleet Battlestar Group 75, which is, of course, Galactica. (I'm not sure yet of how to do the spacing, either. CFBSG 75? CF BSG 75? If you have an opinion I'd like it.)

I generally don't like my fandom references to be super-obvious. I like them to be the sorts of things that are in-universe and to be things that people who don't care won't notice. Like, I always wanted to build an Angelic Layer control helmet, and just carry it around at cons, like every AL player does at events in-universe. Nobody would get it, but it would be awesome.

This isn't that good, but it fits the aesthetic.

(I'm also thinking of getting this, trimming off the COLONIAL and FLEET words, and putting it inside the driver's side front side miniport window. This trimming should work as long as I'm careful, particularly since it's a vinyl transfer sticker.)

Echoed from the band blog of Crime and the Forces of Evil

solarbird: (Default)
There's an amusing exchange going on over at File 770 right now, between Puppies and one of the people who demanded to be removed from their slate.

What Juliette Wade said about being put on the Sad Puppies slate (more at the link):

[Juliette]: Brad, I am sorry, but if you will be labeling me as a sad puppy I will have to ask you to withdraw me from your list.

Brad [Torgersen]: You’ve not been labeled a sad puppy. This is the :fight puppy-related sadness list” I contacted you about earlier. You said you were OK with it.

[Juliette]: You did not say you were going to be calling it the Sad Puppies list. I feel like you were misrepresenting it. I’m happy to be one of your Hugo recommendations. This is different.

What Brad Torgersen decided that meant (again, more at the link):

Juliette’s a colleague at Analog and I’ve been hoping for three years to see her name finally appear on the Hugo ballot. It’s unfortunate that Juliette’s fears — at being shamed, shunned, and ostracized, for appearing on the “wrong” list — caused her to withdraw when the slate was released. Which says far, far more about Sad Puppies’ detractors, than it does about Juliette, or me for that matter.

Once again, the Are your papers in order? factor rears its ugly head.

What Juliette had to say about that (yet more at the link):

Brad Torgersen, you are pretty brazen, trying to speak for me, and I would appreciate it if you never attempted to do so again. I was entirely unaware of the Sad Puppy connection because I had deliberately been avoiding looking at your wall, much less your blog, for going on two years. My maintenance of our friendship was out of courtesy. I guess I was too idealistic, thinking that Sad Puppies might be over and that you would just be talking to me about some Hugo recommendations, but I do like to think the best of people. It should not be my responsibility to go and look up whether a person is being dishonest every time they say they like my work. Just to be clear, you have clearly got no idea of my motivations and are trying to spin them to your benefit. I was appalled by your actions in the Sad Puppy business last year and obviously made a mistake in thinking that you should be taken at your word (with the understanding that people include all relevant and important information when they are informing someone of something, which you did not do in this case.) I would never, ever have wanted to associate with Sad Puppies after last year, because of the depth of my anger over their behavior. I felt sick that you had deceived me and betrayed my confidence, and the fact that you denied having done so is irrelevant. You, and your actions, were what I was avoiding in pulling myself off the list.

What oberpuppyführer Vox Day had to say in response (you get the idea):

You SJWs really are remarkable. Brad does nothing but attempt to tell you the exact truth and you respond by twisting and contorting every word to try to paint him as the sort of liar that you all are.

I will leave it up to you to compare Brad's and Juliette's statements about what Juliette herself said, and figure out exactly how "exact truth" applies to Brad's commentary. Extra credit for staying within the bounds of rationality.

Echoed from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (Default)
For some reason, I really, really want to hear Daredevil's Wilson Fisk angrily singing "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah."

April 2019

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