Welcome to 2018

zombiekazooplayer

Just trying to get ahead of the other pundits with the zombie kazoo players prediction.

[Figure mangled from Poser, kazoo made in Cheetah]

A question for everyone

Hands up everybody who thought this time in 2015 that following the Puppy antics would lead us to the current situation of the puppy-alliance being the nexus of support for a gay British “journalist” caught in an underage sex scandal which lead him to being disinvited from a conservative conference which the Puppies are blaming on a Utah libertarian who is ex-CIA (and we like the CIA now) and oh, by the way, Donald Trump is President? I feel that despite being SFF fans are imaginations maybe are less creative than reality.

In 2018 we join forces with John C Wright to fight zombie kazoo players.

Milomeltdown continued

Just a couple of things from the comments that need elevating up to a post level.

Firstly Chris Gerrib’s review of Forbidden Thoughts http://chris-gerrib.livejournal.com/658314.html

Secondly, Doris V Sutherland points out she had posted a link to the unedited version of the Milo interview over at Space Faring Kitten’s blog last Mayhttps://sfkittens.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/all-foam-no-bite/

Among the various blogs and comment sections you’ll see claims that the appearance of this video was somehow a complex operation – perhaps even involving left-right collusion in some 5-dimensional chess match etc etc. It wasn’t or if it was any such complex operation was unnecessary.

More to the point, the various Puppies (both Rabid and Sad) have had more than a year to come out and defend what Milo was saying in that video (as they now try to do in a kind of talking-not-talking sort of way). Notable that they didn’t.

[Update] and another pro-Milo post at Mad Genius from Kate Paulk https://madgeniusclub.com/2017/02/23/the-inadequacy-of-silence/ basically eveil publishers can’t get away with not publishing stuff because then something something…

More Milomeltdown

The cognitive contortions continue in Puppydom. John C Wright, a man who famously lost his shit over two cartoon characters holding hands (http://www.scifiwright.com/2015/04/perverting-the-story-to-kiddie-propaganda/ ) is still busy trying to work out why he needs to be supporting Milo Yianoppoulis. Luckily he reminds us of one factor in the cross-puppy support for the fading bully. http://www.scifiwright.com/2017/02/milo-and-the-bookstore/

Ah yes, the now unfortunately titled ‘Forbidden Thoughts’ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33790433-forbidden-thoughts featuring  Brad R. Torgersen, Brian Niemeier, John C. Wright,  L. Jagi Lamplighter, Larry Correia,  Nick Cole,  Ray Blank, Sarah Hoyt, Tom Kratman, and Vox Day. Oh and with a forward by Milo Yiannopoulos.

That title always sounded to me more like something targeting the erotica end of the market but I guess the people at ‘Superversive Press’ felt it sounds edgy and rebellious. And here lies a lesson branding that I’m sure Mad Genius could do an excellent job of explaining if it wasn’t quite so close to home.

Not surprisingly Brian Niemeier has his own defence of Milo piece http://www.brianniemeier.com/2017/02/milo-witch-hunt.html

And Brad Torgersen has now got a very angry not-talking-about-Milo-while-talking-about Milo piece on his blog. https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/how-the-ctrl-left-make-it-impossible-to-be-a-nice-conservative/  Yes, it is all about how the left are meany heads because they, gasp, call people mean names. Yes, this is from Brad.

Meanwhile, Larry Correia continues to win Puppy-with-the-most-commonsense of the year award and is sensibly staying well away from this nonsense (at least for the time being).

A Voyage Around the Puppy Seas to See How the Milomeltdown goes

This is largely presented without commentary but mainly to document that assorted pretzel shapes emerging from some quarters. I’m always interested in where fault lines lie between people with similar ideas.

Very short background. Professional troll-like speaker/Breitbart ‘journalist’ Milo Yianoppolis was riding high a few days ago after protests he had provoked and after appearing on Bill Maher’s show. Peak Milo arrived with an announcement that he would be a speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Milo as I’m-not-alt-right-really gay British man speaking at this venue was seen as a bit of a coup. In the subsequent backlash from sections of the right and sections of the alt-right/no-no-we-arent-nazis/krypto-fascists (e.g. the man famous for being punched Richard Spencer), video of Milo discussing his teenage sexual experiences and his views on under-aged sex was pointed at by people on the right. Cue meltdown. While fans of Milo defended him, others were unsurprisingly unsympathetic in a confused conservative mix of legitimate concerns about his apparent pro-pedophile sympathies lumped together with regrettably-standard right-wing homophobia. CPAC invite cancelled, book deal withdrawn, Milo resigns from Breitbart, infighting on the right, schadenfreude on the left.

But what about the Puppies? Our pals in Puppydom kindly volunteered in 2015 as a kind of bellwether of vehement anti-leftism opinion from a weird sample of people who like SF/F. Let’s see how it’s all melting down.

Firstly from far across the sea from the isles of puppies comes John Scalzi: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2017/02/22/on-the-matter-of-empathy-for-horrible-people/

From beyond the worlds of kerfuffles, I think this piece is worth reading https://psmag.com/on-the-milo-bus-with-the-lost-boys-of-americas-new-right-629a77e87986#.d9qbw2ku0 but for a kerfuffle connection, on Twitter El Sandifer has positive views on Laurie Penny’s coverage and Alexandra Erin has an interesting critique of it that is less positive.

Sailing out of those calmer seas to towards the darkening horizon where storm clouds roil and sinister figures scowl. I’m using Internet Archive for links because I think some of these positions may change in the future.

I won’t bother posting the multiple defences of Milo from Vox Day -they are both dull and deeply hypocritical and then for extra ick tend to circle back to Vox Day praising himself for how loyal he is.

John C Wright? Follows Vox’s lead https://web.archive.org/web/20170222182323/http://www.scifiwright.com/2017/02/milo-libeled-fools-fooled/   There’s a point where somebody like Wright has taken on so many vices in the name of virtue that he has walled himself in. Like Vox the only virtue he can appeal to is a kind of loyalty.

But what about the world of Sad Puppies? Well, we can usually rely on Sarah Hoyt to angrily be vehemently confused about things https://web.archive.org/web/20170222182907/https://accordingtohoyt.com/2017/02/22/if-they-take-milo-down-youre-next/ amid the various rationalisations the key message from Sarah is that Milo is an ally in their fight against the left and that really is the only thing that matters. Putting the specific topic aside for the moment, it is close to summing up where right wing politics is at the moment: there is no substance left except hatred of the left.

Neither Brad Torgersen nor Larry Correia are discussing Milo’s fall from (what? not ‘grace’ exactly?) on their blogs.

On Facebook Brad is trying to talk about without talking about so that he can follow Sarah’s lead and attack the left: https://www.facebook.com/brad.torgersen/posts/1800034383356120?pnref=story

Apropos of today’s hot publishing scandal, I said it on my blog a couple of weeks ago: gays and lesbians and ethnic minorities and women, who “come out” against the ctrl-Left, are branded as traitors. I also said in the same piece that the ctrl-left believe absolutely in one maxim above all: the ends justify the means. If they therefore have to lie to get what they want, they will lie. If winning means maligning and hurting people, they will malign and hurt. With a clear conscience, too. This is what the ctrl-Left does. This is who the ctrl-Left are. It’s not about fairness, nor compassion. It’s about having their way. No matter what.

It seems to be Milo-as-Martyr time for Brad but he avoids mentioning him by name. It’s classic Brad, a hot-take based in some alternate reality. The left attacked Milo previously BECAUSE he went around maligning and hurting people not because he was gay. The people throwing conniptions right now are Brad’s pals on the RIGHT. Ho hum.

Larry Correia isn’t saying anything on Facebook either. I’m guessing this is because Larry is the smartest of the bunch.

SFWA announces the Nebulas

Award nomination season is upon us. A time when fandom puts on new fashions and reads entrails and mixes metaphors. And to warm things up here are the Science Fiction (and silent F) Fantasy Writers of America (or Anywhere else) Nebula Award nominees! With my comments appended:

Novel

  • All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
  • The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Ninefox GambitYoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor)

No surprise with All the Birds in the Sky, Obelisk Gate or Ninefox Gambit. I thought City of Blades might be on the list.

I haven’t read Borderline, so that’s a nice extra to look out for. Likewise, Everfair wasn’t really on my radar (I recognise the cover, which had caught my eye). Too many books and not enough time to read them.

In terms of a diverse set of authors, that’s a notable mix that I hope won’t be notable in the future because we’ll just expect a broad mix of voices. Different genders, male and female, cis and trans. Different ethnic backgrounds but having said that, quite US heavy (all born in the US?).

Novella

  • Runtime, S.B. Divya (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “The Liar”, John P. Murphy (F&SF)
  • A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)

Or a category that screams “You haven’t caught up on your novella reading”. Heavy on Tor.com entries – which isn’t a surprise given their output of novellas. A Taste of Honey, Every Heart a Doorway and The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe are sitting impatiently on Mount To Be Read. Three other new names I’m not familiar with to catch up with as well.

Shorter fiction categories:

Novelette      

  • “The Long Fall Up”, William Ledbetter (F&SF)
  • “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea”, Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed)
  • “Red in Tooth and Cog”, Cat Rambo (F&SF)
  • “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories”, Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary, Fran Wilde (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, Alyssa Wong (Uncanny)

Short Story

  • “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”, Brooke Bolander (Uncanny)
  • “Seasons of Glass and Iron”, Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
  • “Sabbath Wine”, Barbara Krasnoff (Clockwork Phoenix 5)
  • “Things With Beards”, Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld)
  • “This Is Not a Wardrobe Door”, A. Merc Rustad (Fireside Magazine)
  • “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers”, Alyssa Wong (Tor.com)
  • “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0”, Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed)

Now an increasing sense of growing Catholic guilt redirected into the quasi-secular pursuit of fiction is growing. I mean I knew I hadn’t read enough because of yet to be filled spaces on my Hugo ballot but….Like novella, there is stuff here I’d *meant* to have read already.

I did really like “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay” by Alyssa Wong and “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” by Brooke Bolander but there are other sources of stories beyond Uncanny! Talons has gathered some marmite reactions – I guess because it is so short that it doesn’t have much narrative but I really liked the punchy anger of the piece, rather like a story refusing to be a different story.

Hugo nominations close soon: must read some more short fiction!

No suprises in the Bradbury (Dramatic Presentation) section

Bradbury

  • Arrival, Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer, 21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films/Xenolinguistics
  • Doctor Strange, Directed by Scott Derrickson, Screenplay by Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill, Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Kubo and the Two Strings, Directed by Travis Knight, Screenplay by Mark Haimes & Chris Butler; Laika Entertainment
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Directed by Gareth Edwards, Written by Chris Weitz & Tony Gilroy; Lucusfilm/ Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Westworld: ‘‘The Bicameral Mind’’, Directed by Jonathan Nolan, Written by Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan; HBO
  • Zootopia, Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, & Jared Bush, Screenplay by Jared Bush & Phil Johnston; Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Animation Studios

Haven’t seen the Westworld TV series. Still haven’t seen Kubo and the Two Strings 😦

Norton Award (the YA award)

Norton

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi (St. Martin’s)
  • The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK; Abrams)
  • Arabella of Mars, David D. Levine (Tor)
  • Railhead, Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press; Switch)
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, Lindsay Ribar (Kathy Dawson Books)
  • The Evil Wizard Smallbone, Delia Sherman (Candlewick)

I haven’t read any of these so far but some interesting titles in the mix.