Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

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Jennifer
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by Jennifer » 23 Aug 2016, 16:24

Other than "Jemisin wrote an allegory about racism" and "Jemisin criticized racist policies of the Australian government," is there any more evidence to support the "Jemisin is totally a racist" theory? Because without that, all that remains of the Sad (not Rabid) puppy complaints boils down to "The stuff winning Hugo awards these days is not the kind of stuff I personally like, and rather than consider the possibility that sf fandom is changing and has changing tastes, I'll chalk it up to an insidious conspiracy designed to marginalize people like me."
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tr0g
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by tr0g » 23 Aug 2016, 17:14

Jennifer wrote:
thoreau wrote:
tr0g wrote:
Jennifer wrote:What was racist about the Inheritance trilogy?
The first volume is explicitly a racial holy war. The white god keeps the other gods enslaved, including the black god who is just as powerful as him, in bondage to a white ruling class who rule over the world (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms) by the power this gives them. Everybody revolts due to main character (black woman) becoming the reincarnation of a murdered goddess. White god is cast down, white ruling class cast down, the black god is raised up supreme and the multicultural people take over. Justice is served, woohoo. This is not an exaggeration. It's as subtle as The Turner Diaries. There's a whole thing about how pure your blood is as a member of the ruling caste and all the rest of it. Seriously, it's like getting hit in the face with a brick labeled "Institutionalized Racism".

Book two is about how all the mixed race people were killed under white god rule because they were a threat but one or two survived, again to cast the current order into disarray.

The third book was actually the most interesting, but also the weakest.
Whether or not we call that "racist" is very much a Rohrschach Test and also a definitional debate (paging fyodor!).

But it's definitely heavy-handed allegory.
As was the Star Trek "black/white vs. white/black" episode -- but that was condemning racism, not arguing in favor if it. I've not read the Jemisin trilogy, so I don't know if she portrayed this racist fantasy-world as a good thing, or if she used racism in the story to underscore how evil racism was* -- similar to how Huckleberry Finn contains language every bit as racist as you'll find in The Turner Diaries, except Huck Finn criticizes such attitudes whereas Turner glorifies them.

*EDIT: From what I've read about it, I strongly suspect she was criticizing racism, not arguing "Racism is good so long as it's white folks, rather than black folks, getting shat upon."
At the end of the first book, the white god (and to a lesser extent the white people) is getting shat upon and a central debate in the second book is "How long should this continue to make up for past injustices?" So, no, I can't really see it as racism is bad. It's more "white people should be punished for racism".
Jennifer wrote:Other than "Jemisin wrote an allegory about racism" and "Jemisin criticized racist policies of the Australian government," is there any more evidence to support the "Jemisin is totally a racist" theory? Because without that, all that remains of the Sad (not Rabid) puppy complaints boils down to "The stuff winning Hugo awards these days is not the kind of stuff I personally like, and rather than consider the possibility that sf fandom is changing and has changing tastes, I'll chalk it up to an insidious conspiracy designed to marginalize people like me."


There's way more history involving Jemisin and Bradford and other people. Jemisin's conduct is suspect based on years of past behavior. For a fun read, go back through Racefail and that fucking mess. Or take this quote from her Australia speech in '13:
Right now there are laws in places like Florida and Texas which are intended to make it essentially legal for white people to just shoot people like me, without consequence, as long as they feel threatened by my presence.
Yeah, that's totally how the law reads, especially in the context of Zimmerman and Martin. Read Jemisin's complaints about the Puppies. One of them is that they are displacing marginalized groups (W/PoC!) which would have gotten nominations without the influence of those dastardly puppies. There is nothing wrong in the world today that Nora Jemisin cannot make the fault of white people.

You act like this is something that come up last week and you can read a summary and be totally up to speed on 20 years of intra fandom bickering. At this point, I've got more evidence to accuse Jemisin of racism than you do Torgerson or anybody else*. This also ties into confirmation bias on your part. You're quick to agree with accusations of racism towards people you are unsympathetic to, like the Sad Puppies, but demand a higher standard of proof when the accusation is turned around.

The complaint you (and pretty much everybody else) is failing to address that the Puppies have made explicitly is that the political leanings of the authors are at least as important as the actual work anymore. They argue that if you are conservative or libertarian or anything but left in your politics, you will not get a major industry award. Your work may be as good (or it may not be) but it will be an uphill struggle to even get your work published, and it will never be acknowledged no matter what the quality. The argument is that author politics used to not matter and now it's at least as important as the actual work. Handing Best Novel to Jemisin in no way diminishes that critique, and in fact validates it.

*Except the inimitable Theodore himself.
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Jennifer
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by Jennifer » 23 Aug 2016, 17:29

The complaint you (and pretty much everybody else) is failing to address that the Puppies have made explicitly is that the political leanings of the authors are at least as important as the actual work anymore. They argue that if you are conservative or libertarian or anything but left in your politics, you will not get a major industry award.
Then let me repeat/rephrase a question asked on this thread last year, and still unanswered: what are these good works which should have won a major industry award, but were ignored due to the author's politics? Have you any examples to offer from this year? From last year? The first year the Puppies started yapping? Which work do you think should have won, but was/were unfairly marginalized solely due to the author's wrongthink?
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thoreau
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by thoreau » 23 Aug 2016, 17:49

Allegory is not necessarily bad, but it can be. I'm open to the possibility that Jemisin's work is boringly heavy-handed allegory and she's favored by insiders because of her background and politics. I'm not endorsing that take on things because I lack the relevant knowledge to do so, but I'm open to the possibility.

It's also possible that her latest work is better than her previous work. It's happened. I don't know enough to say that hers is one such case, but I'm open to the possibility.

I have also seen enough to make me open to arguments that the puppies are acting in a manner equal and opposite to lefties promoting mediocrities. I haven't read any puppy works, but some of the complaints voiced by prominent puppies (e.g. against SF with a sociological message) are dumb, and people whose discernment I trust have been unimpressed by some of the puppy works.

There's a certain sense in which everything is inevitably shaped by our politics and ideology, but some communities and discussions certainly get less fouled-up by it than others. Regardless of who "started it", I wouldn't mind if SF discussions got less hung up on the authors' politics, grievances, and identities.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by Eric the .5b » 23 Aug 2016, 21:34

tr0g wrote:You act like this is something that come up last week and you can read a summary and be totally up to speed on 20 years of intra fandom bickering.
And you guys here act like these are yang worship words, and so she must not use them. At least when you guys aren't acting like it's such totally obvious stuff that you're indignant that anyone with a brain disagrees or asks for any substantiation of the complaints.

Though, if an author's "racism" in not liking the nastier parts of Australian history and, according to you, putting together an affirmative action metaphor is the concrete example we get after over a year of the argument here, I can understand why folks would want to keep things to hand-waving condemnations of bias.
tr0g wrote:Read Jemisin's complaints about the Puppies. One of them is that they are displacing marginalized groups (W/PoC!) which would have gotten nominations without the influence of those dastardly puppies.
Sounds like a fair cop to me, even if it's a little, "World ends, women and minorities hit hardest." Ballot-stuffing is a zero-sum game that distorts any attempt to celebrate genuinely good works. The Puppies kept a well-regarded Heinlein bio off the ballot, last year. And as cunningly entertaining as Chuck Tingle has been about the whole thing, getting Space Raptor Butt Invasion on the ballot meant they kept some more-deserving work from being nominated. And those would be just two examples.
tr0g wrote:The complaint you (and pretty much everybody else) is failing to address that the Puppies have made explicitly is that the political leanings of the authors are at least as important as the actual work anymore. They argue that if you are conservative or libertarian or anything but left in your politics, you will not get a major industry award.
Well, the problem is that there isn't anything to address about the claim. Jennifer, I, and tons of other people around the internet have repeatedly asked the first natural question: well, what are these deserving works by "non-left" writers being denied awards? The answer here for a year has been stony silence. The list of answers pushed by the Puppies in their slates have ranged from "fun, but slight"* to "shockingly bad" to a few token works by people about as much on the "left" as actual Hugo winners.

Seriously, without any deserving, suppressed works to champion, I don't know what you guys want to happen. Should the World Science Fiction Society set up an affirmative action Hugo program for the sort of writers the Puppies like? Add a "Best Dishwater-Dull Space Opera" category for Kevin Anderson, a "Best Racist Rant about Neanderthal Ancestry" category for Vox Day? I'm at a very real loss.



* The Dresden Files excerpt was fluffy and silly, but entertaining.
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tr0g
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by tr0g » 24 Aug 2016, 13:38

I had a much longer response typed up, but fuck it. Believe who and what you want to believe, read what you want to read.
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 24 Aug 2016, 13:48

tr0g wrote:I had a much longer response typed up, but fuck it. Believe who and what you want to believe, read what you want to read.
Isn't that really the only conceivable conclusion any of us should draw?

I have no horse in this race, but it seems to me that anyone who reads enough science fiction and fantasy to be in a position to nominate a slate of candidates for the Hugo or Nebula or whatever other major speculative fiction awards there may be has already covered that year's crop to the point where the only thing an award for their favored novel, novella, etc. is going to get them is personal gratification.

I mostly gave up reading that genre around the rise of cyberpunk. It didn't click for me. Not saying the cyberpunk stuff was bad. I just didn't much care for it. Then over the next few years I found that the Hugos and Nebulas were no longer useful in finding stuff I enjoyed, so that was that and my beach reading lists started to include more mysteries and few to none speculative fiction.

The only thing those awards do is give outsiders suggestions about what to buy and thus boost sales. But if you're a "puppy" or a SJW who knows enough about what's current to offer or oppose a slate of nominees, you already know what you like and what you don't like, so it's just a huge pissing contest. People who like the genre will start to read backlists of the sort of stuff they prefer and to each his or her own. *shrug*

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Jennifer
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by Jennifer » 24 Aug 2016, 13:59

tr0g wrote:I had a much longer response typed up, but fuck it. Believe who and what you want to believe, read what you want to read.
I would like very much to read all those award-worthy stories and novels which the Puppies claim have been unfairly marginalized solely due to the author's right-of-center politics; problem is, I'm still waiting for someone to point out what and where these stories are. Can you give me some names?
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Jennifer
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by Jennifer » 24 Aug 2016, 14:22

Addendum: I know that Larry Correia founded the puppy movement because his own Monster Hunter story didn't win a Hugo, and he thought he deserved one and thus concluded that a conspiracy could be the ONLY reason he lost.

I'm not interested in reading Correia's book, however; not because of Correia's politics, but because I'm not particularly interested in hunting-the-beast stories, whether they're set on Earth or in space. But other than Correia's, what are the award-worthy stories kept in the cold due to the author's politics? The claim "Talented right-wing writers are being victimized by the dreadful SJW cabal" would be a lot easier to believe if claimants could produce the names of these alleged victims, and their unfairly ignored stories -- rather than get huffy and change the subject when asked for these names.

EDIT: And if producing any such names is indeed impossible, perhaps Puppy proponents should consider the possibility that they're barking up the wrong (possibly non-existent) tree?
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by Eric the .5b » 24 Aug 2016, 20:09

tr0g wrote:I had a much longer response typed up, but fuck it. Believe who and what you want to believe, read what you want to read.
Nobody was asking for your permission.

I just, personally, wouldn't have minded some evidence that any of the folks expressing Puppy-sympathy here did it for any reason better than knee-jerk sports-bar bullshit. Because I don't think that you, tr0g (or most Grylliaders) are bigoted fuckwits. But it's frustrating: some grumpy, conservative mediocrities speak the Dark Trigrammaton "SJW", and suddenly, people here who should know better rally around these fucks and repeat their bullshit. Because there's no there, there—no concrete, justifiable grievance. There's no case anyone makes for the Puppies that doesn't dissolve into detached generalities or go read a few years' worth of blog posts by these assholes and see whether the paranoia and resentfulness catches. (ETA: Not just by people here, but anywhere.)
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by Jennifer » 04 Jan 2018, 23:24

Apparently the Puppies are whimpering again. From metafilter (hyperlinks not included in cut-n-paste):

https://www.metafilter.com/171591/Stop-Dont-Come-back
Worldcon 76, the upcoming science fiction and fantasy convention that (among other events) will host the 2018 Hugo Awards, has decided to revoke author Jon Del Arroz's attending membership to the con after he announced his plans to troll the convention by videotaping private events, a violation of the con's Code of Conduct.

Del Arroz is a longtime supporter of the groups of largely conservative and libertarian authors that make up the "Sad Puppies" and "Rabid Puppies" (previously), groups which have connections to "alt-right" hate groups including the Gamergate movement, and have adopted many of their tactics. Recently, this has included campaigns by Del Arroz on social media to get like-minded fans to harass fellow authors, including Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) president Cat Rambo. Having apparently not learned their lesson from their tactics backfiring--most recently and spectacularly in an attempt to troll the Hugos by nominating eccentric erotica author Chuck Tingle (also previously), a plan which blew up in their faces--Puppies are vowing to boycott Worldcon in solidarity. Meanwhile, the rest of the SFF community has largely reacted to both the ban and the boycott with, well, not a whole lot of disappointment.
His tweeted promise to videotape private events is here:

https://archive.is/oBwlW
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by Eric the .5b » 05 Jan 2018, 00:37

Jennifer wrote:
04 Jan 2018, 23:24
From metafilter (hyperlinks not included in cut-n-paste):
...
Puppies are vowing to boycott Worldcon in solidarity.
*snorts*

And, whatever happens, Vox Day will make a blog post saying that his secret plan is coming to fruition. (He may or may not declare that those laughing at him are "my churls".)
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Re: Hugos, Hugos, fight fight fight

Post by Jennifer » 06 Jan 2018, 15:49

I know the Puppies and their sympathizers never had a realistic view of the world and their relative importance to it -- not when their response to "I like the old stuff more than today's newfangled works" is not "Yeah, well, that's what happens as people get older" but "OMG CONSPIRACY!" -- but even so, they actually think their absence from Worldcon would be viewed by most attendees as a BAD thing? That's Trump-grade cluelessness, right there.
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