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NK Jemisin Profiled at The Guardian

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

NK JemisinNK Jemisin is one of the finest new writers to arrive on the fantasy scene in the last decade. Her new novel The Fifth Season will be published by Orbit next month, and yesterday the UK newspaper The Guardian posted an intriguing profile and interview with the author, in which she addresses, among other things, the ongoing Sad Puppy debate.

Jemisin is on the phone from her not-very-epic day job as a university administrator in New York. When she gets off the phone, she says, she’s going to bike to a coffee shop to write her thousand words for the day, a pace that allows her to finish about a novel a year…

“As a black woman,” Jemisin tells me, “I have no particular interest in maintaining the status quo. Why would I? The status quo is harmful, the status quo is significantly racist and sexist and a whole bunch of other things that I think need to change. With epic fantasy there is a tendency for it to be quintessentially conservative, in that its job is to restore what is perceived to be out of whack…”

Earlier this year, a number of writers and sci-fi industry insiders began to organise and protest against the fact that nominees for the Hugo awards have become substantially less white and less male… Jemisin is obviously no fan of the Puppies, but she sees a positive side effect from their crusade. “What I find heartening,” she said, “is the sheer amount of laughter the Puppies are engendering as they demand that what they call ‘affirmative action’ works no longer be considered, but really at the same time, they’re putting only their own friends on the ballot. So they’re actually asking for their form of affirmative action to replace what they think of as affirmative action. And everyone is realising it. People are looking at these authors [like Vox Day and Puppies leader Brad Torgerson], who they once took seriously, and now just pointing and laughing.”

Read the complete article here.

29 Comments »

  1. I have no opinion on Jemisen’s writing, having never read any of it, but I’m irritated to see that she’s still spreading blatant falsehoods about the Puppies. Not once have I seen the claim that they’re protesting against “the fact that nominees for the Hugo awards have become substantially less white and less male”. This is simply a smear.

    Comment by Sean Stiennon - July 28, 2015 4:28 pm

  2. You’ll note those are The Guardian’s words, not hers. If you’re going to accuse her of smearing, it helps not to try and smear her in the same sentence.

    Also, the Guardian is by no means the first source to make that accusation. The accusation was originally leveled by Entertainment Weekly, The Atlantic, and many others.

    I agree completely that it’s an unfair accusation, by the way. The Sad Puppies 3 slate is actually quite diverse. However, the Sad Puppies 1 state (Larry Correia’s original slate) was quite vocally pro-male and anti-diversity, and proud of it.

    I think Sad Puppies 3 could have done a much better job of public relations to educate readers and voters, but sadly most of what I’ve seen has been attacks on those who misunderstand your intentions. That’s not the way to earn support, and I think what you’re seeing here (and elsewhere) is pretty clear evidence of that.

    Comment by John ONeill - July 28, 2015 5:01 pm

  3. You’re absolutely right. Those were the Guardian’s words. Apologies to Jemisen, and I retract my ill-advised statement.

    Comment by Sean Stiennon - July 28, 2015 5:15 pm

  4. “If you’re going to accuse her of smearing, it helps not to try and smear her in the same sentence.”

    I must have missed it. Where exactly did he “smear” her? If by questioning her facts I don’t think that is a smear at all. John, since 1996, 19 out of 266 awards have gone to conservatives. That evidence is damning. Considering Jemisin’s remarks the “harmful, sexist, racist” status quo is in the hands of liberals. Conservatives out number liberals 1.6 to 1 and they are highly under represented in awards. Women have won 66 of those Hugos. In 2014 there were how many non white awardees? (answer 2) Yet she comes out with her bias time and time again. This year’s nominations were far more diverse than any before. Even Vox Day had a more diverse slate than in years before. She is trippin’. When you say smear, that has a strong tone to it and I thought that he was simply stating his disagreement with Jemisin’s assessment.

    “What I find heartening is the sheer amount of laughter the Puppies are engendering as they demand that what they call ‘affirmative action’ works no longer be considered, but really at the same time, they’re putting only their own friends on the ballot.”

    Wow.

    Note that even if that were true about friends, and it is not, consider that conservatives must have liberal, non white, gay, and shall we say diverse friends or at least tastes in fiction. What she is saying is nothing less than a smear of conservatives and the Puppies. When you use terms like “racist”, “sexist”, and such to describe conservatives then it is a smear. Do you see the problem? How does one spark up a rational conversation with a woman like this?

    “So they’re actually asking for their form of affirmative action to replace what they think of as affirmative action.”

    I think she is projecting her own insecurity here. She must honestly believe that people of color and women need help. Seriously, affirmative action is by its nature racist. She acts as though by their own merit non whites need a helping hand to ensure equal outcome. I can’t wrap my mind around how racist that belief must be and then the damage it must do to swallow it. I think what she has bought into is the negative reporting that most of the print media, like the Guardian thrives upon. Where there is racial strife there is news and business flows. They like to rev up the hatred because it is good for business.

    “And everyone is realising it. People are looking at these authors [like Vox Day and Puppies leader Brad Torgerson], who they once took seriously, and now just pointing and laughing.”

    I don’t know where to begin talking to her. She is so fragile about her race and so insecure that anything said would be like an attack on her. You can’t educate and even attempt public relations with someone who thinks you are a racist, sexist, neo-Nazi. There is no starting point.

    The best thing to have happened to the Hugos is the Puppies. Like it or not this year will break all voting records. Without the controversy 1,800 voters would decide on what is Hugo worthy whereas this year will be record breaking. I think that in itself is a good thing. Now that the fire has died a bit the talks I hear are the merits of the selections. That too is a good thing. I also think that the Hugos have been sloppy in their nominations for the last few years. Instead of muttering on the side line I took a stand, made some friends, and made a lot more enemies. Oh well, I’m getting immune to their hatred. Being a partisan for the writers who create all those nice stories has felt pretty good overall. Even if not one Puppy nomination gets a Hugo, my life will not be diminished in the least. Saddly, I think Jemisin is so deeply invested that if one does I think she will have a full blown meltdown. I feel nothing but pity for her.

    Comment by Wild Ape - July 28, 2015 11:01 pm

  5. “You’ll note those are The Guardian’s words, not hers. If you’re going to accuse her of smearing, it helps not to try and smear her in the same sentence.”

    I dunno…If you go read her blog or twitter I bet she has said substantially the same thing.

    here are a couple of quotes:

    “In a year when there’s been intense mainstream-media coverage of an attempt to ideologically tarnish the Hugo Awards, effectively making them less representative of the genre’s current dynamism and way more representative of racist white guys’ vanity publishing”

    “In a year when misogynists, white supremacists, and homophobes have already managed to use the Hugos to advance their own interests, along comes this proposal making it easier for privileged white men to gain recognition, at the direct expense of the marginalized. I’m going to assume it’s an unintended consequence that this proposal effectively reinforces the Puppies’ efforts”

    Comment by TW - July 29, 2015 1:10 am

  6. John, one thing I’m curious about: What gave you the impression that Sad Puppies one was proudly anti-diversity and pro-male? I actually went back through Correia’s blog, and it looks like Sad Puppies one was just his own (semi-serious) invitation to his own fans to nominate his latest Monster Hunter book. Which is pretty strongly pro-Portuguese American male, granted ;).

    Comment by Sean Stiennon - July 29, 2015 8:46 am

  7. @TW—Yep, I’ve read a lot of the same bigotry from her. I think that is why Salon, the Guardian, and other liberal media like to use her so much because racial division makes good business for them. She seems to foment more racial hatred and division than a Confederate flag would.

    “As a black woman…” Who the hell talks like that? Better yet, who THINKS like that? Only someone who is race obsessed would.

    Comment by Wild Ape - July 29, 2015 9:00 am

  8. Sad Puppies One was about stories that Correia thought were good but had absolutely no chance of surviving the gauntlet of liberal bias. Say what you will about the list being all male or whatever. The choices came from self published or small publishing houses and they tended to be military or urban sci fi. All the conniption fits about this list stem from a knee jerk response that it must be raciss because it comes from Correia.

    Correia’s words were—at they are a not for the faint hearted liberal—directed at a snarky comment from John Scalzi:
    “The question isn’t why they are approved by us, but why they never have or never would be approved by you elitist pricks”

    I think what really truly got on Tor’s nerves was that Torgerson’s list was almost completely free of Tor selections. I think that is what did him in. If anyone who claimed that he was a sexist homophobe white supremacist had simply looked at his list they would have thought otherwise. No, instead they went full bore SJW and accused him of everything under the sun. That list was moving in on “Tor territory”. Tor to date has made their mission to suck up every award and they play the game better than anyone. Note how many Baen books Torgerson had on the list. I think that explains a lot more of the venom than anything else. Tor doesn’t want their competition getting in on their marketing strategy.

    Comment by Wild Ape - July 29, 2015 9:53 am

  9. I’d be the last person to argue to keep out a woman writer or a non-white writer. And I’d be for reasonable concessions if the writing style is different enough it might put off some casual readers but be a good story.

    I am NOT for “Token” black, women, non-white writers being rammed in to make up some imaginary status quo. And yes I do think that’s being done – nothing on this lady here, I’ve not read any of her works. But I do think it’s been and still being done and that possibly some good white male writers aren’t given their chance in a shrinking marketplace due to said tokenism, others are told to edit their works and blacklisted otherwise – and even worse I’d bet we’ll eventually hear of writers having to re-write some Token hack’s “Look Mommy I maded my vewy fiwst stowy!” work – being told if they don’t they don’t get more work or maybe that’s the only work they get.

    This issue is also why I’m for the end of traditional publishing and a direct to the consumer market. Yes, tons of “Look mommy!” works by my proposal of every background – but no more “Has to please an editor and meet his current published agenda out of thousands of documents” funnel. No more “Dumbed Down” for the public. No more Blacklisting due to content, author’s views, etc. Oh, the classic houses still have a right to publish, but let it be only their sandbox so whatever writers they put forward better COMPETE with other writers/publishers for the public’s attention, their patronage, not deciding what will be put to the public.

    Ultimately it’s about “The Story”. Can the writer write a good story? And well if they don’t make a bland PC appeal story, even something others might find offensive or don’t like, well can they find a niche somewhere?

    Comment by GreenGestalt - July 29, 2015 6:34 pm

  10. @GreenGestalt—I think what you describe is happening at the beginning stages. I can think of five writers who self published and major houses picked them up. I also know several who ignored offers from publishing houses and stayed self published and are doing fine. I think it is the route many authors will take. I don’t think it is coincidence that I’ve seen books from the genres I like, which were nearly extinct, suddenly bloom on the bookshelf. The gatekeepers of the publishing staffs are largely liberal and their choice in publication shows. Some might be stronger political animals and some might not be but the effects are the same.

    Comment by Wild Ape - July 29, 2015 7:42 pm

  11. I think Sad Puppy supporters must just google the phrase, “Sad Puppies,” all day, on the hunt for more places to rant.
    I don’t understand them, at all, nor the threat they perceive from writers who write from their own cultural, racial, sexual perspective, or why they are upset that awards typically look for literary worth rather than their narrow definition of what old-timey, fun sci fi adventure used to be. Write what you want, sell it, do whatever you want, but just because you think your work is great, doesn’t mean you’re going to win a Man Booker for it.
    Also, this is just crazy talk: “some good white male writers aren’t given their chance in a shrinking marketplace due to said tokenism, others are told to edit their works and blacklisted otherwise – and even worse I’d bet we’ll eventually hear of writers having to re-write some Token hack’s “Look Mommy I maded my vewy fiwst stowy!” work – being told if they don’t they don’t get more work or maybe that’s the only work they get.”
    Fear mongering about a potential future where white male writers don’t get their due is just…ignorant blathering nonsense.

    I agree with Jemisin: you guys are hilarious. Keep it up – the world needs clowns to laugh at.

    Comment by ilgiallomondadori - July 30, 2015 5:59 am

  12. ilgiallomondadori:

    Wild Ape and TW are regular BG commenters, dude. No Googling necessary.

    I’m not convinced there’s much laughing going on. What I’ve seen from anti-Puppies (including some I consider reasonable) is varying shades of anger, frustration, and disappointment, but very little in the way of actual mirth.

    Honestly, VD seems like the guy who’s laughing hardest and longest.

    Comment by Sean Stiennon - July 30, 2015 8:24 am

  13. I’ll say it again: I don’t understand the false persecution fear that Puppies express at being white male writers, nor do I understand the agenda they push that it’s only because of politics or affirmative action that some non-white, non-male writers win awards, nor do I understand their anti-intellectual, anti-literary crusade.
    It’s all just bizarre, and feels like persecution fantasy, and it all feels driven by fear.

    Comment by ilgiallomondadori - July 30, 2015 9:32 am

  14. Also, whether or not other Puppies are hateful people, Vox Day is, categorically, a hateful, fearful, racist, sexist man, and I’m not sure why anyone would want to be associated with him in any way, even tenuously.

    Comment by ilgiallomondadori - July 30, 2015 10:02 am

  15. “I agree with Jemisin: you guys are hilarious. Keep it up – the world needs clowns to laugh at.”

    One thing you have in common with Jemisin is that you think you can cure racism with a better brand of racism with a fancy name like “affirmative action”. It just doesn’t work in reality no matter how much you reband or relabel your racism, its action just ramps up the racial divide. Instead, you mock. You mock because you don’t have a grasp of history to forsee a problem with your misguided “cure”.

    “I think Sad Puppy supporters must just google the phrase, “Sad Puppies,” all day, on the hunt for more places to rant.”

    Vox Day has been right about many things–1. Debating with liberals is a complete waste of time. 2. SJWs always lie. There are more but those two for now are the most important.

    When you engage in mockery you do so because you have no intention of debating the points presented. You probably can’t, and besides, bullying is sooo much more fun for you. Instead you appeal to your imaginary audience with humor and strawmen in order to get people to dismiss what you do because you bank on them being too feeble minded to recognize a fallacy. Mockery is much more entertaining right? It is so much easier than to find facts that support your claim. Right?

    “I don’t understand them, at all, nor the threat they perceive from writers who write from their own cultural, racial, sexual perspective, or why they are upset that awards typically look for literary worth rather than their narrow definition of what old-timey, fun sci fi adventure used to be.”

    Yet another worn out misrepresentation of Sad Puppies goals and more paranoia that you blindly follow. You have centered your premise around a false claim that “awards typically look for literary worth”. Oh really? How can you or anyone prove or disprove that something has literary worth? This is the typical liberal myth that believes that whatever you like is good and whatever the Sad Puppies like is garbage. No debate needed in your mind—just vote no award. Look at the previous Hugo nominations and awards for the past few years. Where there isn’t much audience or competition for the selections you will get selections that have strong liberal bias. Where there is wide and diverse competition you get a more even handed results. The liberal stranglehold is what makes the Puppies sad. So this year we voted for what we liked and that made you guys mad. Boo-hoo. Competition sucks right?

    Take for instance the Best Dramatic Long Form award. This is one that is probably viewed by more people–true fans—than say Best Related Work. Where you have a narrow audience you will have a liberal winner nearly always. Where there is a massive audience you will have a tight knit race and a diverse field of candidates. That is why this year will be better than most because you will have a bunch of fans voting.

    Of course, there is the myth that only Puppies vote in blocks. When I google hunted this you might want to keep this knowledge secret. Here is what Dierdre Saiorse Moen said about the block voting myth in response to someone lamenting about the Puppy laden Hugo nominations:

    “You might be surprised how long small block voting has been going on in Hugo nominations. In fact, I was having a conversation with a former Hugo administrator about it last night. The thing is, it’s usually only in a category or two, and usually either not enough to add a single nominated work, or just enough to add a single nominated work.”
    This is what made me laugh—the naked hypocrisy and the unbelievable howls of outrage. Her tale is also confirmed by GRRM, Scalzi, and a host of others that bloc voting is the norm among liberals. The only time bloc voting is not okay is when it comes from groups that liberals don’t like or Scientologists. The truth is if the Sad Puppy list had been presented by any liberally approved of group it probably would have been applauded. It is diverse and it is a good list. Since it came from us it was immediately given the liberal media beat down and the name calling that followed—-neo-Nazi, white supremacist, racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobe, and the smear campaigns was nothing short of disgusting. And when we laugh about it and make up a word like CHORF and puppy kickers the perpetually outraged crowd became unhinged.

    When 390 people can nominate 70% of the Hugos it simply highlights just how mismanaged the Hugos have become under present day (liberal) control. There should be thousands voting. They have fallen from 8K to under 2K in just a few years. Publishing houses have pimped and pumped out their brand of liberal fiction and it has gone down like the Hindenburg. These publishing houses are competing for the same shrinking audience and throwing out more of the same. Who brings more people into the Hugos? Vox Day has been the driving force behind a lot of the backlash. Why don’t you go to his website and take him on? If he is sooooo laughable why not man up and face the lion in his own den? I don’t think you have the spine.

    Comment by Wild Ape - July 30, 2015 10:04 am

  16. ilgiallomondadori:

    “I’ll say it again: I don’t understand the false persecution fear that Puppies express at being white male writers, nor do I understand the agenda they push that it’s only because of politics or affirmative action that some non-white, non-male writers win awards, nor do I understand their anti-intellectual, anti-literary crusade.
    It’s all just bizarre, and feels like persecution fantasy, and it all feels driven by fear.”

    You’re right, what you described sure sounds like a persecution fantasy. It also has no relationship to the Sad Puppy claims (as expressed by Correia, Torgerson, and Sarah Hoyt). I’m honestly curious where you formed the impression that Sad Puppies was in any way, shape, or form a racial purity campaign.

    As for anti-literary or anti-intellectual, well, there you’re treading in matters of taste. I would reduce the genuine disagreements (once misconceptions and rumors are thrown out) between Puppy and Anti-Puppy to two things:

    1.) A matter of manners. How should nominations for awards be conducted? Many people are offended because they feel the Puppies violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the Hugo rules.
    2.) A matter of taste. What do we like to read? The Puppies feel that the stories they’re advocating are better in every way–literary, narrative, etc.–than various Hugo winners and nominees of the recent past. It’s not that they hate literature. It’s that they have a subjective opinion that recent Hugo winners have been crap, and as fans, would like to see their favorites recognized. You, of course, are entitled to your own taste.

    Comment by Sean Stiennon - July 30, 2015 10:22 am

  17. Sean, I was mostly referring to the comments by GreenGestalt, which are full of fantasy about a future where white writers are marginalized, but while I don’t know about racial purity, but Sad Puppies suggesting that works that have supposedly left politics or are written by non-white, non-male writers get an edge just because they don’t win is just logically flawed, and also suggests a hateful motivation.
    It’s also without question that Vox Day, a very vocal member of the puppies, is a hateful racist, and has been vocally racist about NK Jemisin in particular.
    How could you ever want to be part of a group that is okay with a prominent member saying things like:
    N. K. Jemisin is an “ignorant half-savage” and that “self-defense laws have been put in place to let whites defend their lives and their property from people, like her, who are half-savages engaged in attacking them.” unless you’re okay with these kinds of statements and views?
    How about “The reason women shouldn’t vote in a representative democracy is they are significantly inclined to vote for whomever they would rather f***.”
    Or, “Homosexuality is a birth defect from every relevant secular, material, and sociological perspective…[we must] help them achieve sexual normality.”

    I do think it’s fair to say that a group which includes such people in prominent, leadership roles saying such things just might be motivated by hate.

    Comment by ilgiallomondadori - July 30, 2015 10:47 am

  18. As for the manner of voting, well, that’s up for debate. As for the puppies believing their stories are better in every way than recent Hugo winners, that’s fine, they can keep believing that. I just don’t know why they don’t create their own award for lowbrow, right-wing pulp fiction. I’m not sure why the Hugo, itself, is so important to them. Promote themselves (which is what this whole thing started with), believe what they want. If they win, fine, if they don’t fine. They just come across like babies having a temper tantrum.

    Comment by ilgiallomondadori - July 30, 2015 10:53 am

  19. I don’t know where this whole “Social Justice Warrior,” thing came about, but if it means someone that believes in being kind, believes in equality and rejects hate, not to mention has good taste in literature and prose, well, call me a Social Justice Warrior all day.
    I haven’t said anything about affirmative action, and hey, believe it or not, I actually believe that literary awards are not awarded based on affirmative action, but on merit. I know that’s something you disagree with, but why isn’t that okay to disagree? Why do you have to get so angry?

    “Vox Day has been right about many things–1. Debating with liberals is a complete waste of time. 2. SJWs always lie. There are more but those two for now are the most important. ”
    I can clearly see you do think Vox Day is right about a lot of stuff. Blindly believing statements like, “Debating with liberals is a complete waste of time,” and, “SJW always lie,” is just not a good idea. The language itself is air tight, and doesn’t allow for any debate; it’s Newspeak, and you sound brainwashed.

    Comment by ilgiallomondadori - July 30, 2015 11:17 am

  20. Also, if you don’t want people to laugh and mock, don’t say things like, “If he is sooooo laughable why not man up and face the lion in his own den? I don’t think you have the spine.” It’s patently ridiculous, overly dramatic chest beating, and it reads like you’re grovelling sycophantically at the feet of your hero Day.

    Comment by ilgiallomondadori - July 30, 2015 11:20 am

  21. @ilgiallomondadori – nice to see my words used in the insult tirade Wild Ape is pointing out. I’ve been here quite a while too, and while yes I am a bit out there and controversial, this board has inspired me greatly.

    And I stand firmly by my words.

    I do think there is a strong bias in the publishing industry – towards a liberal (1) Politically Correct (2) token bland appeal. And – my opinion – it is done in contrast to what the public wants or likes. Yes, publishing has collapsed over it, but like the recording or movie industry just too big to totally go away at once and the Govern-NOT likely gives them lots of money. But there are articles here on how even mediocre sci-fi used to have like 70,000 copies in paperback print and that collapsed long before iPads and e-readers.

    And for all the insulting of me, you ignored my solution.

    Not to “Re take” existing publishing groups and make it “White male only”…

    No, my solution is to Open the market – by encouraging direct writer to reader sales – discouraging those that sign publishing ‘contracts’ – they simply put their works for sale on various markets – and those markets need to be pushed to the bitter edge of legality in what they’ll allow…

    Because in your typical SJW attack on me you ignored the first part of my message. And my message.

    I am totally for anyone writing a story. And selling it online or if they get it printed in a bookstore. I don’t care their gender or skin color or whatever. I like Charles Saunders stuff, I also like Orson Scott Card’s stuff.

    What should matter – to them – is if it sells -and even that be if they dare quit their “Day Job”… Write the stories they want to, see if they sell, let even mediocre ones if dedicated enough have their ‘niche’. Let good storytellers find a powerful voice without having to sell out to a big company in profits and what they can write.

    I am against publishing being a limited narrow marketplace with a handful of editors and publishers with social agendas. I am against token writers from other ‘groups’ propped up to fit. And I was careful to state “Opinion” till I can find proof, which I hope to find someday.

    I think a good example of what I’m saying is John Norman and his “Gor” series. While obviously not everyone’s cup of tea John Norman had a dedicated fan base and was a solid writer who was a publisher’s dream. Solid 3-4 star level writing, turned in his yearly manuscript 1+ months before the deadline – all typed perfectly with almost NO spelling/grammar errors! And this is with a typewriter, btw. And since he didn’t quit his ‘day job’ – an English/history professor – he just waited for his royalty check. Most other writers who were ‘famous’ would come in high as a kite 3 months after the deadline with a plot outline scrawled on a napkin and scream for advances on their next book’s royalties. Now, won’t name names directly but doesn’t the image of the last gunslinger chasing a black magician over a bleak white desert sound like the product of a long term bout of cocaine abuse? Hey, that’s how we got Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde…

    While Mr Norman might not have been a top 5 star writer he made a good solid profit. Then the head of DAW books died of a heart attack and his Feminist daughter took over. Overnight she cancelled stuff like Gor, Scorpio, others. Put out Feminist stuff like “Sword and Sorceress”, “Marion Zimmer Bradley” etc…

    Norman asserts he was blacklisted by the publishing industry because he refused to stop doing Gor and start doing pandering stuff.

    I argue this is proven since today because of modern internet publishing he’s back and better than ever. Once he could break past the ‘gatekeepers’ of publishers and distributors and their agenda, well guess what – even after decades on a blacklist he had TONS of fans, new fans, and a solid base waiting for him. His books are all over Amazon, GoogleBooks and others and selling well.

    A market of Ideas – writers to readers. Let the best selling stories sell, the special interests have their niche somewhere.

    1 – and the media has turned both “Liberal” and “Conservative” into an insult of the original ideals – I’d considered myself liberal for a long time, but I’m not far out into a weird ‘left’ tangent meant to expertly push against the ‘right’ and cancel the energy out while elites loot and loot and loot.

    2 – Political Correctness is like being on an ocean liner and going below deck you find out they are welding shut the valve on the boiler because someone complained they couldn’t stand the noise, not to mention the ship’s running on the backup engine with it’s two real engines dead ‘cos the investors would panic if even one fiscal quarter they showed a slight dip in profits…

    Comment by GreenGestalt - July 30, 2015 3:28 pm

  22. “I can clearly see you do think Vox Day is right about a lot of stuff. Blindly believing statements like, “Debating with liberals is a complete waste of time,” and, “SJW always lie,” is just not a good idea. The language itself is air tight, and doesn’t allow for any debate; it’s Newspeak, and you sound brainwashed.”

    That isn’t an argument that you are making and I am stating an opinion. Arguing with liberals who are entrenched in their beliefs IS A WASTE OF TIME. How do you begin a discussion with someone who calls you a white supremacist? A neo-Nazi? There are some liberals who are truly open minded. That is the only reason I bother posting.

    Sean is spot on when he says that that you need to prove that the Sad Puppies are a racially driven campaign. All you ever hear is that the dreaded Vox Day said this or that. Debate his damned points. Don’t expect me to do your dirty work as though they were my own words. Jemisin is a racist every bit as much as Vox Day as her comments prove. Your logic is so flacid it is embarassing to read it. You equate ONE Vox Day equals ALL of the Sad Puppies when he is in fact neither a Sad Puppy nor their leader. Man up and debate him. You’d be a hero of the highest order for all your side. Why deal with the light weights?

    “I do think it’s fair to say that a group which includes such people in prominent, leadership roles saying such things just might be motivated by hate.”

    Such people? Show your bluff. Show your proof. You say that it is all a campaign for making Correia’s books popular but…….Tor campaigning isn’t? These are baseless lies and smears.

    “I haven’t said anything about affirmative action, and hey, believe it or not, I actually believe that literary awards are not awarded based on affirmative action, but on merit.”

    Oh but you said that the Puppy choices were “low brow pulp fiction”. Again, you confuse opinion with fact and opinion with taste. The Hugo winner “Rain That Falls From Nowhere” has ONE trope in it. It belongs in the romance section and not the Hugos. “If You Were a Dinosaur My Love” was another annoying romance (annoying is my opinion). It has absolutely NO SF/F in it. So, give us an example of this pulp fiction in which you speak of.

    “I’m not sure why the Hugo, itself, is so important to them. Promote themselves (which is what this whole thing started with), believe what they want. If they win, fine, if they don’t fine. They just come across like babies having a temper tantrum.”

    Again, ad hominem attacks are not debating. What we chose to do with our time is non of your business. I might as you why don’t you just run off with all your friends and make up a (another) leftist award? The Hugo is supposed to be a representation of ALL SF/F fandom. Nobody has a lock on that. I’m probably more tired of the pouting from your side than the insults.

    The Hugo is used as a marketing tool to sell books. So far Tor has an over abundance of them and small markets that I like can’t seem to make much of a dent. The reality is that not many people know about the award but something like that has more bookshelf time, a higher que on Kindle, and sells very well. Baen, Ragnarok, Trucan, and others should have a bigger claim and platform in my view because they are better as a whole (again, opinion and personal taste). Deidre Moen and others have exposed the block voting of the past. The Sad Puppies did nothing that hasn’t been done before.

    Since you hate Vox Day so much, I’ll tell you that my pick for the Best Short Form Editor is Vox Day. At first I dismissed his views on fourth generation warfare and warfare is an area that I know a great deal about. After seeing the fiction (it wasn’t just military sci-fi—it was 4th gen military sci-fi) I saw that the work was genius. This is hardly pulp. And if you don’t know what 4th generation warfare is without Google searching it then you probably aren’t qualified to understand it in full After reading the book I sent it to a couple of friends at the Pentagon that I know and they find it very interesting too. Very very interesting. I would not be surprised if the seeds of 4th gen warfare are given a second look someday.

    I think GreenGestalt made a salient point too. One editor in the wrong place kills fiction. I was a big fan of Conan, Prescott, and Lin Carter. The whole genre was nearly exterminated—except for Tor who tried to pass off terrible Conan stories and ran that market into the turf.

    “I don’t know where this whole “Social Justice Warrior,” thing came about, but if it means someone that believes in being kind, believes in equality and rejects hate, not to mention has good taste in literature and prose, well, call me a Social Justice Warrior all day. ”

    Practically all of the Sad Puppies and all of fandom are social justice warriors of a sort. I was referring to the prejorative SJW. For someone who “rejects hate” you and Jemisin sure seem to be radiating it. And you seem to think that you know and understand literature I’m just waiting for you to prove that you know anything about the Sad Puppy list. Methinks you are just sockpuppeting what other closed minded liberals are saying.

    Bring it! Show it!

    Comment by Wild Ape - July 30, 2015 8:51 pm

  23. Oh and thank you for being on the opposite side of the fence as Jemisin. She says in her own words that she is for affirmative action over merit. Good writing and not race should be the basis of the Hugo award I quite agree. That is also why the list on this year’s Sad Puppy list so much better than nominations of the past. Even Vox Day has the sense to look at the story first and not the race, gender, or sexual preference of the writer. You know he is voting for Cinxin Lui’s book for the best novel. I agree with the above post that says it is your side is the one crying and the only one laughing is Vox Day.

    If your side had rational sense they would shut up about Vox Day and not try to rub noses in it. You make him out to be bigger than he is. So what if he wins a Hugo? Is your life going to be dimished? Is your life going to be one bit better if a Sad Puppy gets a Hugo? Get a grip! All you have done is magnified his base, given Castilia House enormous exposure, and given him a super human reputation. All the while you bully decent people whose only “crime” is to nominate the selections that they like.

    What publishers need to understand is that the internet has leveled the playing field. No longer can a publishing house put out books to a political niche market as business as usual. The free market will drive them into extinction if they do not adapt.

    Comment by Wild Ape - July 30, 2015 10:04 pm

  24. I’d also love to hear Jemisin’s take on last years winners and diversity. One dozen white liberals and an asian liberal. Compare it to the Puppy list. You have more diversity.

    Tomorrow is the deadline for voting. Don’t think that voting doesn’t make a difference. Perhaps I have been off putting. For those who are truly open minded I know that you will do the right thing and vote for the candidate that suits you best. There is nothing else any of us can do. Sad Puppies just want to have fun reading stories and not to be beaten by the puppy kickers for not paying homage to the SJW outrage of the day. Could we have been nicer–sure–did we make mistakes—sure. We are just flesh and blood people who like what we like. I like Milton Davis and Imaro and Tonya Huff too. To make me out to be close minded and a racist and sexist is infuriating and demeaning. To be called a neo-Nazi after all that I have done in my life diminishes a lot of who I am and it is unfair. I can’t fight a rumor or an innuendo and that is what a lot of the hard left have done.

    If anything I’ve learned is that there are a lot of good writers out there who put their energy and mind to something that I enjoy.

    When the puppy kickers demean the Sad Puppies you demean the fans that support a variety of writers. Look at last year’s awardees and ask yourself if they were diverse. Ask yourself if they truly merited a Hugo. If not, then ask yourself who best represents ALL of fandom. I think you’ll find that the Sad Puppies are true warriors of social justice by our open minded natures and those of the past are false pretenders who now are engaged in racial and gender politics but who really have nothing of substance. They rely on your fears that your brand of fiction will be erased and replaced by white supremacist crap. Compare the lists of the last two years and see. If you are honest and vote your heart and not your hatred by what you read then you won’t make a wrong choice. If you give in to the propaganda of the liberal elitists or Vox Day then you will just recycle the hate. I for one have more faith that most people are better than that.

    I realize that a lot of what I’ve said may have been off putting–again—you should have seen my flame thrower at the beginning of this mess. I’ve mellowed out quite a bit. I still stand my ground and sometimes throw hurt for hurt. Too late in this Hugo voting I lost track that there were others watching who were attempting to understand what the Sad Puppies are all about. They heard a lot of things second hand and then might go to a blog and get blasted by a lot of people who were hurting. That is the nature of divisive politics—both sides want you to think less of your humanity and just start shooting at the other with all the hatred you can muster. Thank you for all of those open minded liberals who actually listened. Thank you for changing your heart and for being good to me and showing me my short comings. I’ve changed too. This year is going to be a mess but the next will be better. I predict that more fans will be involved and that is a good thing. More people will be taking nominations seriously and that too is a good thing. Perhaps next year there will be more open minded in both camps who can set aside politics for fiction. I plan to do that in the Sad Puppy circles I travel. Next year I will have a wider selection that I’ve read and I will pass on the good books that I encountered. I will still be a partisan for the fiction that I like. You should too.

    Have fun voting.

    Comment by Wild Ape - July 30, 2015 10:56 pm

  25. I really don’t get where you say that NK Jesmin and I are representative of hate. That’s just nonsense rhetoric, and if you were honest, you’d admit it. I’m not saying I hate anyone. What I am saying is that Vox Day’s statements are driven by hate, and that’s not up for debate. Calling black people savages and lesser, saying women are not capable of voting, shouldn’t be educated, saying that rape doesn’t exist in the structure of marriage, that homosexuals are lesser and broken, well, those are hateful, exclusionary things to say. I’m not going to debate Vox on these things, because Vox will never change his mind. I would talk to him, but I don’t want to sit there and listen to someone spout off hate speech. I’m just not interested in wasting my time that way.
    Like I said, if you don’t want to be thought of as being hateful, just don’t support or associate with people like Vox, and you’re good.
    If this was really about a balanced view of what the real SF community wants in awards, then that would be fine, and the discussion that has come out of that is valuable. The anger and rhetoric and crying is not.

    As John ONeill put it in his voting post:

    In short, four months ago the Puppies grabbed the microphone and stood on stage in front of the entire industry. They seized the genre by the throat, and had a golden opportunity to make their point. And instead, they simply proved that they had nothing of any real value to say.
    Today, the Sad Puppies are already seen as a spent force. Irrelevant, misguided, and not particularly very interesting.

    100% truth. There were valuable discussions to be had, but they didn’t happen with the puppies at the table, because the puppies didn’t want to talk, they wanted to scream and point and accuse and claim persecution.

    It’s very much like the situation where software engineers are displeased with management. Sometimes they discuss the mutiny card, that they’ll all walk if things don’t change, but that card can only be pulled once, and they’d better be damn sure they’re indefensible and watch their backs after that, because that kind of behavior is not cooperative or constructive. It’s not focusing on the problem, it’s creating another problem for a temporary fix.

    Comment by ilgiallomondadori - July 31, 2015 4:03 am

  26. whoops, “indefensible,” should be, “indispensable.”

    Comment by ilgiallomondadori - July 31, 2015 4:05 am

  27. Dude, I’ve heard nothing of substance from you. Not one thing.

    “Like I said, if you don’t want to be thought of as being hateful, just don’t support or associate with people like Vox, and you’re good.”

    Don’t trouble your little head pilgrim. If people want to hate me because of misplaced anger for Vox Day there is very little I can do. I’ve said many times that I don’t agree with everything he says but that will never be good enough. This is the guilt-by-association ploy is nauseating. Your faux concern is transparent. Stick with your snark it is what you do best.

    “There were valuable discussions to be had, but they didn’t happen with the puppies at the table, because the puppies didn’t want to talk, they wanted to scream and point and accuse and claim persecution.”

    Again, total lie. 100% baloney. I stated above what specifics I thought some work was deficient and more like romance and not at all like science fiction and this is your response? Your side does this all the time. You demand substance from me but you have none to present. NONE. And you call me brainwashed….lol. Dude, I’m always willing to listen. But after a series of insults and obfuscation I’ve determined that you have nothing of value to say. I also realize that Vox Day is right when he says trying to rationally talk to people like you is a waste of time. That isn’t a statement of support, it is an instance where I agree with him. What you are doing is persecution. Period.

    “As John ONeill put it in his voting post:”

    I like John. Seriously, my Kindle LOVES John–it gets fed good boosk regularly by him. I have a lot of respect for John too. John doesn’t like me nor does he respect me, he tolerates me because he is a good host and my hope is that down the road the road that will change. So invoking the Great O’Neill doesn’t mean squat.

    Comment by Wild Ape - July 31, 2015 11:50 am

  28. When I quoted John, I wasn’t referring to you, I was referring to Day, Correia, and Torgersen, the leaders of Rabid and Sad Puppies. I don’t think John was referring to you, either. Larry Correia said, “The cool kids told their cool stories to the other cool kids, and lorded it over those who weren’t part of the In Joke. Honestly, it reminded me of high school, and I was the poor fat kid who had inadvertently pissed off the mean girls,” which just sounds like victim mentality, feeling sorry for yourself. To quote Murakami, don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only a-holes do that. Puppies want to feel empowered? Well, don’t throw tantrums.

    You have to admit, you’re responding with a lot of anger. Seriously now: why are you so angry? What exactly are you so angry about? I’m not insulting you, but I am insulting Day, which is not the same thing. Why do you think what you characterize as my anger at Day (really, it’s more head-scratching confusion and distaste) is misplaced? He says hateful things. How is it misplaced for me to think he’s a distasteful, vulgar, ignorant human being? If you don’t think so, that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean that I agree with you. Which should be okay, but you’re reacting with such anger. If you believe some of those statements, then, yes, by logic, I also would find you distasteful, misguided, vulgar, and ignorant human being, but since you’ve never clarified which of his beliefs that you do agree with, I’ll assume it’s not the hateful ones. Again: I don’t think you’re Day.

    When I “invoked” John, I didn’t do so seeking your approval, I did so because I agree with him, and I stated that. It doesn’t matter to me if it means squat to you, I just put it in there because John said something I felt resonated with me as being true. You have the right to disagree. Normal people disagree all the time, they just don’t go around accusing others of persecuting them.

    Comment by ilgiallomondadori - July 31, 2015 12:14 pm

  29. @ilgiallomondadori – again no response to my suggestion – an OPEN market – let those who write excellent stories sell better and be able to market themselves to the consumer directly – let the “Old Guard” with all their….”Diversity” and “Editorial” skills and their inherited legacy compete with that.

    I don’t want some P.C. Sludge Excretion machine choosing only bland tedium with tokenism in favor of talent and blacklists for breakfast. But at the same time if we made it “White menz club only – next novel Klan Avenger!!!” it’d be just as bad. (I’m mostly Irish for the record, so nothing I’d write)

    Let people write stuff and try to sell it in an open market – online stores offer enough ‘preview’ that horribly bad writing comes out quick most of the time. And for subject matter, message, background and views of author – well it’s a wide world – to again cite an extreme example I won’t force you at gunpoint to read John Norman’s “Gor” stuff or buy it – but I think it’s criminal he was blacklisted for so long when he clearly more than pulled his weight in the old school and now decades after he’s selling quite well again due to the direct market.

    And, one thing I’ll point out – Ganesh has 1 tusk and that symbolizes not being caught in “Dual” thinking. I’m actually a bit of an old school liberal, not a right winger. BUT – I do detect a lot of falsehoods being put on society at large which I won’t get into for I already type big posts here. I don’t hold to ‘stereotypes’ – believe it or not my first exposure to the Puppy thing was Black Gate though I do side with them… Been too busy with work and trying to finish a bunch of stories to be blogging…and missed a LOT of fun…

    Ever read “Sandman”? Years back one neat story from that innovative comic was “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” where Neil wove in his characters into the play and the classic Bard. It won the 1991 World Fantasy Award – BUT despite it’s brilliance the organizers quickly changed “The Rules” so a “Comic Book” could not be eligible… That’s what it reminds me of “HOW DARE those…rabble…hack into our award…let’s change the rules!!!” And that’s what I see happening. An elite circle that has NOTHING to do with what people like, what’ll really sell, be popular in later decades is drawing the wagons and preparing for a siege. I’d just laugh at them but they still essentially hold onto (even if they hate) stuff I truly like. Not some dumb award but “The Scifi/Fantasy Genre” and as they excrete more Politically Correct sludge of Wanna-Be next George Martin phone book thick books of paper thin plot and “Token” minority/women writers they could generate a black hole that takes it with it and hurts by association even indie online stuff.

    Another recent bout of fun here – and I kept from posting on it fearing I’d go into a real foaming rant was Sofia Samatar and the world fantasy award of a Lovecraft bust. She’s black and Lovecraft…wasn’t P.C. by today’s standards and no he wasn’t “Progressive” by his day’s standards. Well she accepted the award because those things get and keep her on the bookshelves. Ah, remember how Tagore renounced his knighthood over the British Empire’s behavior?

    Myself I think I’ll refuse that award if my stuff wins it but they changed it to remove the Lovecraft bust over people whining and wetting their diapy…

    Comment by GreenGestalt - July 31, 2015 3:10 pm


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