Since the debacle of the 2015 Hugo Puppy-campaign, the loudest voices have tended to go off at different tangents. The rise of Trump in the Republican party heightened political differences between the Sads and the Rabids. The more low-key Sad Puppies 4 campaign engendered less column inches.
Of late even Larry Correia has concentrated more of his blog posts on books than polemics and poor old Brad Torgersen has posted only sporadically on his own blog due to having an actual life.
So it is notable when we see Brad Torgersen, Larry Correia, John C Wright, and Vox Day all commenting on the same thing. Given how much time they’ve spent going their separate ways, Puppyologists are naturally interested to see the old gang back together again. It is also a reasonable assumption that given the many genuine and deep differences between these four, that whatever catches all of their interests gives us an insight into what helped forge their unlikely alliance in the first place.
So what is it? The literati writing highfalutin books? Nope. Damien Walters? Nope. Tor books buying bottled water for panellists at Worldcon thus confirming the long suspect Illuminati/Rosicrucian subversion of science-fiction award ceremonies? Nope.
No, the thing that gets the collective knickers in a twist of the fab-four is this report from Fireside Fiction on the deep under-representation of black authors in short science-fiction and fantasy. The report is here if you haven’t read it already:
To summarise the report it finds that “Out of 2,039 original stories published in 63 magazines in 2015, only 38 stories could be found that were written by black authors.”
That is clearly a problem. Note this isn’t about people winning awards or big contracts or having successful careers but rather at the ground-floor of SFF publishing.
Now Brad, Larry, JCW and Vox have all complained about conservatives being excluded from publishing. This was an issue that this blog looked at many aeons ago (OK last year) in a series of posts about Dave Freer’s Petunia and Whales analysis. The contrasting freak out from the rabidly-sad quartet is interesting.
“So, I have a tough time believing that the supposed dearth of other-than-W authors publishing in the short fic markets, is a matter of prejudice”
That is, of course, unless W=right wing Americans, in which case Brad things it is vitally important to run a divisive poll-stacking campaign to right imagined wrongs.
First, if you’re a “person of color” (which always blows me away how that is cool now but Colored Person is a slur) most of your readers don’t care. No. Really. The vast majority of people who read do so to be entertained. Adventure, comedy, tragedy, whatever. Make them happy or make them cry, you’re doing your job. Only a tiny percentage of whiny white guilt liberals buy books based upon the author’s race.
Which neatly misses the point and also suggests that Larry hasn’t read the report. But we’ll come back to that.
Post-Larry, Vox Day decides to defend Larry’s piece: https://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/larry-correia-fisks-latest-sf-sjw-drama.html
In which the an insufficiency of Negroes publishing short science fiction stories is lamented
And not to be out-done along comes John C Wright http://www.scifiwright.com/2016/08/larry/
My comment: imagine the shoe was on the other foot, and this diversity freak out were instead an article about how Christian virtues, values, and ideals were insufficiently hammered across the heads of the vile pagan infidels and Philistines whom it is our sad duty to teach our enlightenment. Do you think our friends on the Progressive side of the Force would welcome such a message with cool aplomb? Or would they take such a manifesto as a declaration of war?
Interesting what counts as the ‘other foot’. For Wright the equivalent of a finding that shows a demographic that has been systematically discriminated against in multiple areas of life both social and economic for centuries is equivalent to people not agreeing with his political and theological views.
In short what brings the gang all back together again is simply this: somebody expressed concern about black authors being under-represented in short-fiction and suggested that editors etc might try harder. This, naturally, is an anathema in certain quarters hence the brief Puppy-league-of-outrage comeback tour. What else is notable is that this is one of the few (only?) points of accordance between the four of them in a long while.
But more on Larry’s ‘fisk’ in the next post.