Exciting Alt-History! Sarah Hoyt on PJ Media

Sarah A Hoyt designated leader of Sad Puppies 5 aka The Pups of Ennui, has written a piece ostensibly about John Ringo pulling out of a con at Pajamas Media. https://pjmedia.com/trending/of-conservatives-and-conventions/?singlepage=true

The piece re-litigates the Sad Puppies campaign (which as Chris Chupik has told us, the Pups all moved on from years ago).

Let’s count the errors, omissions and statements whose relationship with the truth varies from “It’s complicated” to “Not in a relationship”.

“For those of you wanting to follow this at home, the score card is this: Five years ago, my friend Larry Correia started a movement called Sad Puppies, which was a half joking attempt to get books not of solid leftist bent (not even right wing, just not preachy left) nominated for the Hugo”

The campaign being, of course, the “How to get Correia nominated for a Hugo” campaign and the books he wanted to get nominated for a Hugo were his own.  http://monsterhunternation.com/2013/01/08/how-to-get-correia-nominated-for-a-hugo/

The revisionist stance of the Puppies means a rationalisation for later campaigns propogates backwards in time to change the rationalisation for earlier campaigns.

“When Larry tired of the game after two years, my friend Brad Torgersen took it over…”

i.e. After Larry got tired of repeatedly losing.

“Brad ran it creditably, suggesting fan-favorites who had never got nominated (over the last decade, the Hugos have become a log-rolling club of leftists.) He got people who’d never before nominated to nominate, increasing the number of people involved by three fold. “

Brad set out to create a slate of works. He did ask for suggestions: “Thus, I am going to slowly compile a slate. Of books and stories (and other things, and people) for the different categories.” https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/announcing-sad-puppies-3/ but comparisons of suggestions given in the comments and his final slate show that basically Brad just picked people he liked with little regard for the quality of the work or whether the authors wanted to be associated with the slate.

Sarah then gets into a list of complaints about how the Sad Puppy slate was characterised:

“Imagine our surprise when we found out that:

1.We’d promulgated an immutable slate, that had to be voted for in order. We must have managed that by cleverly telling people to read and vote for those they liked, or add others, or whatever, just get involved.”

It is true that Brad did not ask people to stick tightly to his slate but he also made it clear that the works needed extra effort to get nominated: ‘As noted earlier in the year, the SAD PUPPIES 3 list is a recommendation. Not an absolute. Gathered here is the best list (we think!) of entirely deserving works, writers, and editors — all of whom would not otherwise find themselves on the Hugo ballot without some extra oomph received from beyond the rarefied, insular halls of 21st century Worldcon “fandom.”’ https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/sad-puppies-3-the-2015-hugo-slate/

Sarah is also magically ignoring that this was part of an escalating campaign of rhetoric about the Hugos from her side including combative rhetoric around awards from Baen chief editor Toni Weiskopf: “So the question arises—why bother to engage these people at all? They are not of us. They do not share our values, they do not share our culture.” https://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/03/10/the-problem-of-engagement-a-guest-post-by-toni-weisskopf/

‘2. We were against the participation of women, people of color, and people of different gender identification and orientation in science fiction and fantasy. (How we were supposed to divine all that except perhaps women, is beyond me. And even there, there are gender neutral names.) The fact that three of us, in the “inner council” were women made no difference. Since we’re not leftists, we’re obviously not “real women.”’

Sarah once again forgetting that the Sad Puppy 3 leader Brad Torgersen has repeatedly refered to women and people of colour winning Hugo Awards as example of “affirmative action” and has forgotten that people could see and read the comments and attacks by Sad Puppy supporters and who they tended to be directed at. People had already seen two years of Sad Puppy campaigns and the kind of nasty rhetoric used by those campaigns. Larry Correia make claims like this about Saladin Ahmed way back in 2013 “just having nominated a guy with an ethnic name will make the SMOFers feel all warm and tingly inside and good about themselves” was stuff that PEOPLE NOTICED https://burger-eater.livejournal.com/982918.html

A core part of Sad Puppy rationalisations requires heavy compartmentalisation of facts. People are not supposed to put 2 and 2 together or notice patterns of behaviour, repeated themes or even overt statements made at different points.

Moving on:

3. We’d done this to oppress people by being gatekeepers. Note our coalition was one best selling author (Larry Correia), a promising beginner (Brad Torgersen), a midlist author (me), and two indie authors (Kate Paulk and Amanda S. Green). None of us had or had ever had gatekeeping powers. In fact, the people who called calumnies against us to Entertainment Weekly (who later retracted) and other national publications were gatekeepers, since everything points to their working for TOR.

That the Sad Puppies 3 slate was gatekeeping is a simple fact. Brad picked who he felt should be nominated and asked people to vote for those people as part of what he saw (and other puppy leaders had characterised) as a culture war. He literally tried to set up a gate and tried to control that gate and had some success (not without help from the rabid elephant in the room*). That the Sad Puppies have not had much in the way of gatekeeping powers prior is irrelevant to whether they were attempting to gain gatekeeping powers. Manifestly they did attempt to do that. Claiming otherwise is just silly.

Nor did that attempted gatekeeping end with the Hugos. The sad story of the collapse of Sad Puppies 5 centred around Sarah Hoyt’s attempts to control and gatekeep what had originally be characterised as a wide movement: https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/where-is-sad-puppies-5/

Failing to be GOOD at gatekeeping is different from never attempting to be gatekeepers. The Sad Pups were just bad at it, that’s all. Failed gatekeepers but still wannabe gatekeepers.

“After our nominees were treated horribly at the 2015 Hugos, after leftists bought memberships by the dozen for the express purpose of voting “no award” over people they proudly admitted they’d never read, we thought there was no point.”

“Treated horribly” was people not voting for them and being happy when they didn’t win. Oh the horror! “Leftist” bought memberships for many reasons but the SAD Puppies where a side show – people where more motivated to vote against the Rabod Puppy campaign run by kyrpto fascist Vox Day (the said elephant in the room mentioned earlier).

No evidence of any individual buying multiple memberships for themselves. That claim is just a lie.

Onto Sad Pups 4:

“My friend Kate Paulk, probably the most conciliatory woman in the world, ran it the next year and did everything the left said they wanted done. They still attacked her.”

Who is “they”? Many of the so-called “Puppy kickers” that Hoyt could name either were neutral about Sad Puppies 4 or praised Paulk for trying to fix some of the worst issues of previous campaigns. Several noted Sad Puppy critics pariticpated in the recommendation process in good faith.

“I and Amanda claimed the right of succession, but never took it, because it was obvious the Hugos were dead, their reputation destroyed and only academics seeking tenure could be interested in them. The only reason we claimed them was to prevent a few deluded people from trying to ride a movement they had nothing to do with to fame.”

Except that is NOT what they said at the time. Sad Pups 4 had segued initially into Sad Pups 5 like this:

“In the near future, this site will be shut down and a new site for Sad Puppies 5 will go live. In the meantime, if you have any books, movies, etc., you think award-worthy, please list them in the comment section. Your recommendations will be migrated to the new site when it is ready.” http://sadpuppies4.org/2017/01/10/sad-puppies-5/

And in January 2017 Amanda Green had said this:

“So, let’s be very clear. The New Year is here and with it comes the time when we need to start thinking about the books we read and whether we feel they are worthy of being nominated for any of the various awards being offered this year. Be it the Hugo, the Dragon, the Rita or whatever, it is something we need to keep in mind and, if we are so moved, we need to nominate them for the appropriate award(s).” https://madgeniusclub.com/2017/01/10/sad-puppies-5-and-recommendation-lists/

Now, true the emphasis was off the Hugo Awards but that was already true for Sad Puppies 4. The campaign was ‘always’ (where ‘always’ means the rationalisation of the day which changes the next day), about promoting science fiction.

As for the claim that the Hugos is for academic seeking enure, I’ve debunked that more than once https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/hugos-for-academics/ It is a claim that has almost no basis in anything factual.

Ho hum. One reason I began compiling a timeline back in 2015 was that I expected a degree of revisionism from the Puppy camp. The Ministry of Truth-style rewrites of past events was to be expected and along with it the unshakeable faith that this weeks re-write was always true even when it was at odds with last weeks re-write.

The Pups haven’t ‘moved on’. They can’t move on because that implies an element of personal growth that requires some engagement with facts and reality. Repeatedly lying to oneself is not the way forward.

*[Elephants can catch rabies]


119 thoughts on “Exciting Alt-History! Sarah Hoyt on PJ Media

  1. So, her contribution to the pro-Ringo campaign was actually just an opportunity for self-promotion? We’ve never seen that turn out to be the main motive before, have we?

    ( [Elephants can catch rabies] – well at least I’ve learned *something* new today!)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Supposedly all mammals are susceptible, but I wondered how elephants would catch it – could the usual reservoir species penetrate elephant skin? Apparently, yes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. in re rabies:

        Opossums very rarely get rabies, possibly because of their low body temperature, and very small mammals (like mice) rarely show up with it because if they get bitten by a rabid something-or-other the bite usually kills them. But basically, yeah.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. [meanwhile – having foolishly listened to this advice, the author has been brutally savaged by a rabid possum. As he succumbs to the ravages of rabies, his foam specked mouths murbles ‘they meant O-possums!’]

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Isn’t all history by the Puppies Alternate History?
    …after leftists bought memberships by the dozen for the express purpose of voting “no award”… If I squint hard at that statement, I can interpret it as “dozens of leftists bought memberships”. But perhaps I’m being too charitable. Full confession: that’s precisely why I bought a membership. (And I’m still amazed at the Puppies belief that anyone was obligated to read the crud they’d gamed onto the ballot.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Pups will also boast about how they increased the number of people voting but they’ll do that in a seperate paragraph from claiming all the extra voters were fake leftist buying multiple memberships. Because that’s how logic works now – if you keep two statements far enough apart they don’t contradict each other…

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Reminds me of those times I was lucky enough to be right by the tracks when a train went by, and if it filled my field of vision, it felt like I was the one zooming down the tracks. Only this was just goalposts skimming past, and they don’t give nearly the same illusion, not being solid enough.

    The barking reminds me of being in the foothills, up near the Aggie “A,” and when the wind came from the direction of the CSU veterinary labs, it was possible to hear the faint barking of a hundred or so beagles in their kennels, poor pups.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Is it a law that every college has to put their initials on the Rockies’ foothills? CSU’s A, CU on the Flatirons, Mines’ M, UTEP’s M, NM State’s A?

      (honestly, this is more interesting to me than Pups’ revisionist history)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel like I saw one other one one time, maybe in Oklahoma. I was a good deal younger, and it was probably on one of our annual (or near-annual) trips down to my grandfather’s ranch in Texas. It was slightly off of our usual route. I don’t even remember if it was another A, or something else. Maybe I should quiz my sisters, who are all older than I, and who sometimes remember things.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They used to light up the Aggie A for homecoming. We could see it from our house, lights coming on up there, one at a time. I assumed they had some wondrous method of doing it. Then one time we took a hike up there and I saw that it was a fairly random-looking bunch of whitewashed boulders when seen up close, and among them were rusty old cans that had held some flammable liquid.

        Huh. Now that I think about it, it’s almost like a parable.


      3. But are there enough hills in Oklahoma to put a letter on? OSU might.

        It’s not like all the Rockies-adjacent ones with proper foothills (in front of proper mountains) that require effort to get to.


      4. What else were the Sons of the Pioneers singing about? “Oh, the everlasting hills of Oklahoma…”

        Our usual route took us through the panhandle. If there were any hills to be found, we were probably in the right place. It wasn’t like my memory is of a mountain range. I just recall that there was one hill big enough to stick a letter on. Still thinking it may have been in OK.


      5. No idea. Could be a mesa or a butte. I just looked at topographic maps, and there could even be hill-like objects in the eastern part of the state. If I query the dim memory, it suggests I was looking somewhat south-southeast at the time, but who can rely on that? (Hint: Not Me!)


      6. Reminds me of one of the most enjoyable conversations I’ve had at a con. In fact, it was at the last con we attended before we left MA, 10+ years ago. Paul King was talking to a guy about fishing, and they touched on the geography between Fort Collins and Texas. I dealt myself in, and we talked our way up and down the Highway 287 corridor from Wyoming to the Hill Country—drive-ins, food joints, and roadside attractions. After a while I was able to discern from his badge that Paul’s friend was Howard Waldrop. I wish I could repeat the experience, but we seem to have gafiated or something. Cons are too much work, I guess.


      7. Hey, my brother went to school with Paul King, if it’s the same one I’m thinking of — but I re-met the Paul King I’m thinking of at a con along US-85, so it must be.


  4. The claim that we didn’t read works the Pups managed to get nominated for the Hugos is one Revisionists Pups keep repeated. But saying something over and over won’t make it true — despite what these Pups seem to believe.

    Those of us who were there remember all the reviews and evaluations of these works. We know that (almost) everyone read them.

    And we know — as I think Greg said? — that the worst thing you can do for a Pup nominee is read their work. Even those that weren’t abysmal (VD’s pathetic efforts) were only competent.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, there were a lot of reviews from bloggers etc, of the Puppies works from the ballott. Even the dinisaurporn, the right loves so much (*) got reviewed. Doesnt mean everybody read all of it, butr thats obviously true for the Right as well.

      (*) I know it was put there *ironicly* but since the right claimed their putting their best work on the ballott, I can hold them by this statement.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I actually liked Chuck Tingle’s. It had some decent worldbuilding and characterization before it got to the butt-pounding. It was better than the stuff the Puppies wrote, frankly.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I read them all and wrote reviews for most of them. Some Puppies still claimed I hadn’t read them, because I wrote negative reviews. Apparently, my not liking their slated nominees was evidence that I had not read them, because if I had read them I would have been won over by their awesomeness or something.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. It occurs to me that this is linked to the claim that no-one read their blog posts and Mike was somehow biasing people with his excerpts.
        They firmly believe that if people read their fiction and/or their arguments then we’ll suddenly agree that they’re right. As people still don’t agree with them, it must be because we didn’t really read what they wrote.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. GOOD people would do that but BAD people would read what they wrote and still thing they were wrong – hence why the people they know read their arguments must also be the WORST people (especially you Mark – you monster!)

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Sarah ought to try writing fantasy. She’s certainly gotten herself a great deal of practise writing scenarios divorced from anything remotely resembling objective reality.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Actually, her first couple of books WERE fantasy. Shakespearean fantasy, in fact, which I read thinking that I’d be bound to like them. Reader, I was wrong. As noted before, I’ve yet to read a book of hers which I actually like. So I’ve given up on that.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. And I’d meant to add that I find it fascinating that she keeps repeating this weird story of hers about academics gaming SF&F awards to get tenure. She and Trump seem to follow the same line of magical argumentation: If I say it often enough, sooner or later it’ll become true.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I and Amanda claimed the right of succession, but never took it, because it was obvious the Hugos were dead, their reputation destroyed and only academics seeking tenure could be interested in them

    It seems that they never told Scrappy Pup del Arroz, since in his recent complaint filed against Worldcon 76, he includes this paragraph:

    “The WorldCon is the most prestigious science fiction convention of the various science fiction conventions that are held in a given year for various reasons. One reason for its prestige is the history of the WorldCon as the oldest such convention. Another is that the awards for the year’s “best” science fiction and fantasy writing, known as the “Hugo Awards”, are given at the WorldCon. The awards are selected by vote of the fans who buy tickets to the WorldCon.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I mean, for all the completely justified snark I throw at the Sads, they DO at least get published by someone other than themselves or their pals. And the women of MGC don’t go around behaving badly at cons.

        However, the sentence Aaron quoted is the dictionary definition of sour grapes. Couldn’t win ’em, so have to pretend they aren’t worth winning.

        Re: Jon boy’s quote there: “tickets”?


    1. Cora: Sarah Hoyt is not the only Mad Genius engaging in some revisionist history of the sad puppies. Here is Amanda Greens attempt

      Wow, I’m amazed that Green’s pants didn’t spontaneously combust, given the number of lies she’s managed to pack into that screed. I stopped counting at 12 lies. 🙄

      Liked by 3 people

    1. JCW single-handedly puts the lie to the claim that the Pups were all about entertainment. Never before have I read such turgid moral lecturing.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I had a similar experience. I didn’t go into the process of reading with a very positive opinion of the puppies, but I really resented reading that nonsense. I knew it was going bad when I found myself thinking of other ways the Antonelli story could have been constructed. The material by Wright might have been the worst.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I was actively hoping for at least some puppy stories to be good, but with the exception of Jim Butcher’s novel and Kari English’s and Rajar Vajra’s (I’m probably misspelling him) stories, they were uniformly horrible. And the English and Vajra stories were no more than very average, while Butcher’s novel was one of the weaker entries in the Dresden Files series.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Rajnar Vajra. The one with some space cadets and a mystery to solve on the planet they’re traveling to. Perfectly decent and blood surprising that it was published in a good zine (I think it was from Analog) but nothing special.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Oo, oo (waving hands excitedly) Mr. Felapton, I’ve figured it out! When she says “…only academics seeking tenure could be interested in them”, what she’s really trying to say is that only academics who study and write about SF&F find the awards interesting. So really it’s a comment on stuffy academics not interested in real writing who find the failing Hugos worth paying attention to. Do you see? It’s all ironic and everything.

    It makes perfect sense now.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. “The piece re-litigates the Sad Puppies campaign (which as Chris Chupik has told us, the Pups all moved on from years ago).”

    I forgot I’m not supposed to be drinking liquids when reading your blog.

    “only academics seeking tenure could be interested in them”

    It’s really fascinating that she keeps doing this one when it makes utterly no sense, whether she means the nominees or academics supposedly fascinated with the Hugos, as Pixlaw suggested. Either it’s a continual dig at Nnedi Okorafor, or offering it boosts her standing with the Puppies as someone with a graduate degree who denounces other academics. But mainly it’s just weird. The Hugos are not like the Pulitzer. They simply have no academic standing.

    And wow, that is a lot of revisionist history. Did anything in the essay mention Beale and the Rabids at all, or did they just pretend they didn’t exist?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The Rabids are Schrodinger’s Puppies: They are part of the Sads when the Sads are claiming some criticism directed towards the Rabids as an insult or slight directed towards the Sads, and they are totally and completely separate when it comes to being held accountable for the reprehensible behaviour of the Rabids.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I have to say that I’m honestly thrilled that Kat Goodwin, whom I’ve encountered on several of my favorite blogs, actually approvingly cites my argument above.

      Now if I can only get Wright or Hoyt to denounce me as an illiterate SJW, my dreams will have been fulfilled.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Well it’s possible, since lit prof academics do study Hugo winners and nominees and may study the Hugos collectively as a topic. But you won’t get English lit prof tenure out of doing that necessarily. Tenure doesn’t come in any academic field by one publication, whether it wins non-academic awards or not. You have to have a bunch of articles, 1-3 books — they have specific requirements on the amount — and it has to have been published in the right places, said places not being out in the non-academic retail. Creative writing profs can get tenure out of their own publications that are put out in retail in part, though they need more than one and they usually also have to do non-fiction academic study publications about creative writing. And winning a Hugo from a convention would not be an award that gets them much traction at most universities. A Hugo can get a writer a writer in residence creative writing position or an adjunct prof position in some places, neither of which leads to tenure. And then there’s the fact that tenure isn’t solely about your publication record either, though it’s key.

        People don’t really get how academia and jobs and advancement work because it’s very weird and a guild without a direct boss (though slightly different for law profs and hard sciences versus the social sciences and humanities,) but again Hoyt would actually know as she has an advanced degree and has gone through the graduate process. It doesn’t help that shows like Big Bang Theory present it almost entirely wrong, either.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. People don’t really get how academia and jobs and advancement work… That’s one of those topics that I just have to turn my brain off for in almost all fictional portrayals (film, books, and television are just about equally bad), because it’s just so wrongity wrong, independent of field.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I suspect the “treated horribly” in 2015 line includes an instance of booing from the audience – which was quickly quelled – and the Asterisk award, handed out to all nominees that year with an official motivation that was not quite strong enough to convince.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know there are a lot of differing opinions on the asterisks, mine is that they were a misstep but not for the reasons the SP give. It was an attempt at levity – the joke being that as JJ says the awards had an asterisk against them similar to sports records – but a bad attempt that predictably insulted some people instead. Had those people complained on that basis them I’d have had some sympathy (possibly played on a fairly small violin, but even so).
      However, the SP totally overplayed their hand by concocting the “asshole” symbol out of plain cloth (apparently Vonnegut is involved in some way?) and made their complaints both wrong and ridiculous.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree with your diagnosis here — a misstep which the Puppies seized as an eternal banner of injustice — but, in this one particular instance, the “asshole” connection isn’t too ludicrous.

        Vonnegut’s “here is my picture of an asshole,” from Breakfast of Champions, is very well known. Community turned the same thing into a running joke. This… probably wasn’t the intention, but it’s not that much of a leap either. Going “Well but we didn’t know this particular imagery also had that connotation” only goes so far, even when it’s “our side” making the error.


      2. I’ve been active in fandom for over 30 years, have read Vonnegut, don’t follow sports and didn’t know the joke (I didn’t watch Community). Literally the only association I had with the asterisk was the sports record reference. Like, the pros play many more games now than back in the day, so yearly or even lifetime sports records can’t be directly compared. A search tells me that in Babe Ruth’s day, there were 154 games a season, but in 1961 they changed to 162. Thus Roger Maris’ asterisk for beating Ruth’s record. Football went from 14 to 16 games, and I think both now have more playoff games than originally.

        Puppies decided all on their own that it meant that they were assholes.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. O. Westin: I suspect the “treated horribly” in 2015 line includes an instance of booing from the audience – which was quickly quelled – and the Asterisk award, handed out to all nominees that year with an official motivation that was not quite strong enough to convince.

    Yes, especially the latter — they are still very angry about the asterisks. Part of that is that they decided that they were a deliberate labeling of Puppies as assholes (which I really don’t think they were) and part of that is that the asterisk refers to the fact that the Puppy works only made their way onto the ballot through cheating, and not through merit (which of course was a very deliberate reference), and that the Hugo records for that year will always be explained ever after as “Here’s the list of 2015 Finalists, but what you need to know about them is…”.

    But what the Puppies considered the worst, I think, was the No Awarding. Their leaders who knew about it hadn’t warned them that it was an option, and it took many of them by surprise — they went into the ceremony absolutely believing that they had managed to cheat some of themselves and their buddies into rockets, and were shocked to find out that they’d spent a bunch of money, done a lot of arrogant online posturing, and showed up in person to claim their triumph, only to find out instead that they’d made utter fools of themselves.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lots of people had feared that the voters would refuse to no-award entire categories. Others feared that fans would no-award all categories, leaving no awards for anyone. Read this George R.R. Martin article, “Worldcon: Winning and Losing,” posted Aug. 14th, 2015 at 5:08 PM, just a week or so before the Sasquan awards ceremony. There was real fear that the Puppies might succeed in ruining the awards. in his followup, “Handicapping the Hugos,” he mentions that the first all-puppy category (hence the first to be no-awarded) was Best Editor, Long-Form. That’s the one where everyone cheered and applauded. In part, I think, because Vox Day himself was on that list.

      Martin had predicted Weisskopf would actually win the award, although she didn’t. The irony is that by my own calculations, she actually had more organic nominations than anyone else in the list.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I disagree with that assessment. I think that at least 300 of Weisskopf’s nominations in 2015 came from a combination of full slate RP voters and partial slate SP voters. Look at the nomination stats from 2017, after the Puppy nomination rights had expired. Even with a 6th Finalist slot opened by the implementation of 5/6, she didn’t get close to the ballot.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Terminological difference there JJ. Greg is counting partial slate Sad Pup votes in with organic votes (as they aren’t straight slate votes and others on the slate in the same category didn’t get those votes).

        I think TW clearly gained votes from broader Baen/SP sympathisers but what proportion is ‘legit’ (i.e. not due to the slate and the SP campaign) is another question.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You’re right, that is a terminological difference. I wouldn’t consider SP slate nominators as “organic” — but as you say, how do you separate those from SPs who would have still participated in the Hugos if the Puppy debarkle had never happened?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Or if there had been a campaign but a less toxic one or less blatant one?

        That’s where Vox’s claims of triumph get closer to fact. The Hugos are fine but they are dead to a whole group of people who might still be involved – its a small group and politically fringe and the Hugos will carry on fine without them but they fell for VDs toxicity.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. “a whole group of people who might still be involved”

        Interesting point. Weiskopf used to make the Editor long list quite regularly, if she doesn’t reappear then that might indicate that a small set of voters have left. (Or alternatively that voters who used to quite like Baen along with other stuff have stayed but are put off Baen-ishness by the shenanigans)

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Regarding Toni Weisskopf, I suspect her association with the puppy campaign and her status as their cause celebre has harmed her chances to win a Hugo nomination organically for the foreseeable future.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. Regarding Weisskopf in particular, the fact that she didn’t submit ANYTHING to the packet — not even a list of the books she’d edited that year — probably turned off people who didn’t follow all the puppy crap. How can you vote for someone who doesn’t show you what they’ve done to deserve it? IIRC, her comment was that everyone at Baen edited everything, so… why are we honoring her instead of the whole staff? There isn’t a “gang editing” category.

        Plus, dear Ghu, Baen books aren’t even proofread. I’ve never seen so many typos in a mass-market publisher. Not occasionally, but often. And you can tell it’s on them, b/c some writers have very few, while others have more — as if they’re printing them as they come. Or the same writers won’t have so many typos from other publishers. So I’m thinking development editing is also nil.

        Also, she said some very mildly intemperate things online about liberal fen.

        Being the Sads’ favorite editor/talking point certainly didn’t help; the Spokane membership was Not Having anything to do with even well-intentioned pup nominees. If she’d declined that year, her organic votes might have gotten her there in following years.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. You mean copy-editing. Copy-editing catches the typos. Developmental editing works with authors on content development. Copy-editing is usually all free-lance now, as is proofreading before the galleys are set. So maybe Baen doesn’t have very good free-lancers. But authors go over the copy-edited ms. and the proofs that have been proofread before they go into production and say yay or nay on all suggested changes in copy-editing and catch typos in the proofs. So maybe it’s the production people who are messing stuff up after all that. E-books get a lot of typos in production due to the formatting.


      9. Kat Goodwin: So maybe it’s the production people who are messing stuff up after all that. E-books get a lot of typos in production due to the formatting.

        Baen’s print books are just as typo-ridden as their e-books, and have been for years.

        I don’t see that poor copy-editing lets the editor off the hook. It is an Editor’s job (especially, as in Weisskopf’s case, when they are also the Publisher) to make sure that the best possible product goes out the door, that their company has done justice to their client’s work.

        Especially after Weisskopf publicly stated that Baen has made the conscious choice not to copy-edit their books, because it doesn’t increase sales. Am I ever going to put an Editor who publicly admits that — and who admits it with no shame, to boot — anywhere else but under “No Award” on the Hugo ballot? Hell, no.

        And I’m not even going to go into the abominations which Weisskopf as Editor has permitted to be added into Heinlein’s works as Forewords and Afterwords by such “leading lights” as Tank Marmot and Sarah Hoyt. Oh my god, talk about desecration of Heinlein’s work.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Oh well that’s it, then. If they don’t have copy-editors, they’ll have typos because one of the copy-editor’s main jobs is finding typos.

        Editors don’t do typo work during developmental editing (the first stage) because developmental editing involves suggestions for rewriting and revision, including text cut and added. That’s also where free-lance editors come in if the author is also using a free-lance developmental editor. So chasing typos then would be a waste of time. And it is developmental editing that Editors both long form and short form are mainly judged by for awards like the Hugos, along with acquiring the work in the first place. The author then goes over the ms. with the developmental notes from the editor and chooses how and where to revise material. And in that process, the author will try to weed out typos. Developmental editing can be one or several rounds, depending on how much revision is going on.

        Line editing occurs when the ms. has had all the main developmental revisions it’s going to have and is considered in near final form. The editor then goes through line by line looking for awkward sentence structures, overly and accidentally repeated words, inconsistencies (that can happen a lot with revisions where something doesn’t get adjusted,) points of confusion, any plot or character developmental details that further come up, ways that the prose can be enhanced such as adding metaphors and imagery — all the stuff having to do with the actual language of the text itself. And typos. So the main editor does do typo duty, but not till it’s in a more final stage. And it’s not the editor’s main job because there are supposed to be more layers after that to catch typos. (However, magazine editors do a lot more typo patrol stuff for the shorter fiction at that stage — and less developmental editing — as the magazine may or may not have a copy-editor.) After the editor line edits, the author goes over the line edited ms. and decides which of the line edits the author wants to use, and also the author tries to weed out typos. Again.

        Then usually, the managing editor sends the ms. to the copy-editor, whose main job is to find typos. But also to look for small inconsistencies, incorrect facts, things that might be a mistake, punctuation suggestions, overly repeated words, etc. The author gets the copy-edited ms. and decides which of the copy-edit suggestions the author wants to use. And the author also again tries to weed out typos. The copy-edited ms. is also the last chance for the author to make small developmental revisions.

        Then it goes to the proofreader usually, whose job is to check and prep the formatting and to look for typos. The author goes over the proof pages mainly to look for typos and small errors that can be fixed. The managing editor oversees the copy-editor and the proofreader. The editor oversees the whole process, is the one who communicates with the author about the various edits, and keeps track of the schedule. But editors aren’t in charge of book cover art, production or marketing — they cannot make sure the total product is of highest quality, unless they are also the publisher — the people in charge of the entire product. And editors aren’t going to catch everything because the problem is the eye will often miss typos just from having read the ms. several times. Even though the author goes over the ms. including typos like four or five times, the author will still miss typos. So the idea is to have these layers with more people and that weeds them out.

        But even when you have all that, you still end up with typos — errata — because the proofs can end up with errors being turned into print or e-book formatting. The hope then is to fix them in the next printing or round of e-book clean-up. But if you don’t have the copy-editors involved, then you’re definitely going to have more typos. Most publishers now have a lot less copy-editing done, and less line editing than they used to. But usually they do at least have a copy-editor.

        Weisskopf is the head of the company, I think? So she is also in charge of the quality of the total product, of the business strategies the company takes. But that’s more than just the editing part by which the editors are judged for the award.


      11. I don’t own any Baen e-books, so I’m talking about the paper books. Those typos aren’t due to any conversion. There’s no copy editing, line editing, proofreading, or occasionally even spell check. If the author doesn’t catch a problem in the proofs (which is very hard no matter who you are, since you’ve read it a billion times by then), the errors turn up in the final copies. And never get fixed. Some authors are better at catching mistakes like that, which is why — in an anthology — you’ll get one story without typos, the next two will be typo- and other error-ridden, the next one with one typo and a wacky wandering punctuation mark, the next will have a gap in logic, awkward sentences and some typos, etc. Worse than some self-publishers.

        I’ve also never heard of any developmental editing going on with any Baen work. At all. No rounds of revisions for logic or structure. A lot of it shows no evidence of anything being reworked, ever. Their definition of editing seems to be what the rest of us call “acquisition and packaging”. It emphatically does NOT include copy editors, and they say that.

        Add to that no packet list and it all means you’re not going to get nominated in that category, no matter what definition is used.

        If an editor can’t even say “Books X, Y, and Z were my work”, they fail the definition of the category. Going all “Everyone edits everything together, whee!” also fails the definition. Proudly announcing you have no desire for copy editing, also.

        Parse it how finely you like, NO Baen editor is up to Hugo-level work. Ever. They acquire and print — that’s it.


      12. Lurkertype: They acquire and print — that’s it.

        JJ: < mutters darkly about desecration of Heinlein reprints >


      13. I have to say that since I’ve never voted for any SF&F award, some of my commentary is just me bloviating. But having started down this road, I’ll add my agreement with Kat and Lurker. Over the years I’ve purchased a fair amount of Baen books, and what’s become painfully clear is that they don’t edit their established authors AT ALL. It doesn’t matter with Bujold, whose work is always well-done and tightly written, but I’ve sworn to never buy or even read another David Weber book. In the old days, a space opera fan could get a decent number of exploding spacecraft per book. But now he makes you wade through monstrous info dumps every 15 pages, mixed in with cardboard characterization and all-too-obvious plot ‘twists”. Any competent editor could trim his drafts by 30% without breaking a sweat. The fact that they don’t bother only proves what’s been said above.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. @JJ: I stand corrected. (I’d been trying to ignore the desecration and haven’t read it)

        Acquire, print, and add crap.

        Oh, and let what’s his name rewrite whatever he wants; see the Schmitz anthologies and maybe some others.


      15. Well again, that’s a fundamental misperception of what book editors do in developmental editing — they don’t “trim” stuff. They make suggestions for trimming and the author decides what to do from that. Obviously there is some incentive to make the publisher happy and enthusiastic about the book, so authors often do go with editors’ suggestions — if they understand them and can actually do the revisions. And there are times where there are production issues where a publisher cannot do a book past a certain length and in those cases they will tell the author you have to cut stuff and make suggestions for what to trim. Then the author figures out what to trim. Only if there are very, very serious problems with a text that the publisher feels would substantially mess up the book’s sales, is an editor/publisher going to cancel a book contract for a work as editorially unacceptable. It does not happen often and it’s a pain in the butt for publishers to do it. (The circumstances are somewhat different for work to hire tie-in books which are different beasties.)

        Consequently, publishers have worked to minimize the developmental editing stage, just as they have also increased the speed of book production. They increasingly sought to find ms. that they not only viewed as good but as near ready to be published as they felt they could be, ms. that didn’t need a lot of editing work in their view and they acquire those over ones that need more work unless they really think a rawer work has the potential to be big. Editors do way less developmental editing than they used to do thirty years ago on most projects.

        And copy-editing is also done faster, etc. But again copy-editing and typos have nothing to do with awards. That’s not what editors are judged on. The big problem they’ve had is that magazine and anthology editors are very different from book editors. Magazine and anthology editors do trim stuff and make changes without the author’s approval — if you want to be included in their publication, you have to go along with it (the exception being serial excerpts from longer novels being published as stories in a magazine and other reprints — they just reprint those.) Magazine and anthology editors — short form — design the entire look of the collection, the magazine — its style, tone, presentation, type, etc. So it’s very easy to judge magazine and anthology editors on their work because their magazine issues or anthologies are their babies and their design. Their impact on the magazine or anthology is quite clear because it is theirs. So they always won the awards when it was just one editor award.

        To give the book editors their own award was the solution, so their contributions can be recognized. But the point of book editors is not to have their contributions be recognized, to be visible. They are handmaidens to authors, helping authors develop their work in the way that the author decides is best for each individual project, rather than a collection. They have a hundred different roles — with the author and within the publishing house — but it’s deliberately behind the curtain. If you see their influence, they aren’t doing their job right. And for publishing houses, having a distinct aesthetic or even a coherent visual look to all their booklines is usually not the goal. They may have some sub-categories that they are known for, but they need variety, and the bigger the house, the more variety they need to have. So editors are not usually visible engineers of that either.

        So the reality is that book editors are mostly getting an award not for editing, but simply for acquisitions — they acquired and produced books that people think are good, and they may also have a rep for working well with authors. All they really should need to include in a packet is a list of the titles they acquired and produced. And the award tends to go to the more visible senior editors in charge of the lines of the house and of acquisitions. (Which is a whole other kettle of fish.)

        All that aside, that Baen skimps on the production side and provides not a lot of editing help obviously is going to limit their products. But they’ve assessed that their core readers — mainly for military SF and pulp style fantasy — don’t care that much about those issues. And that does sort of go back to the big wholesale market times of the 1950’s-1970’s, the pulp mass market side. It’s an aesthetic in the end. But one that might not play that well to Hugo voters.


    2. Part of that is that they decided that they were a deliberate labeling of Puppies as assholes…
      When in actual fact it was the Puppies’ own actions which self-labelled them, and continues to do so up to the present time.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. What I loved (besides Gerrold’s dignity and class) was how they rearranged the order of awards so that the TAFF winner didn’t have to read out the No Award categories, but instead got to hand out shiny rockets. That was very generous.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. I suspect that a lot of the anger felt by the Pups after the 2015 ceremony had nothing to do with the ceremony. It had to do with the fact that it undercut one of their central claims: That the Pups represented the real majority of fans who had been somehow cowed by the evil cabal they claimed was running the Hugos and that the Pups would lead that silent and oppressed majority in a glorious revolt against the forces of evil.

      Remember all the Puppy rhetoric leading up to the 2015 Hugos? Remember BT’s post (complete with Venn Diagram) in which he claimed that “Worldcon voters” were completely out of touch with the fans sitting in movie theaters watching The Avengers? Remember how many times the various Pups referred to how many books they sell and how that shows that they are the authors real fans really like? Remember LC starting the first Puppy campaign by essentially claiming that the Hugos were run by a small group of literati and that the “real fans” should get together and make their “heads explode”? A big part of the Pups sales pitch for the Puppy campaigns was centered on the claim that they represented the “real fans” who were a silent majority.

      When the results came in, they demonstrated that the Pups were just a relatively small fringe group in fandom, and probably a relatively small fringe group among fans in general. The Pups were embarrassed in front of the people they had misled. They had to come up with some cover to hide the fact that pretty much everything they had said about “their side” of the Puppy campaign had turned out to be untrue.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. And Brad’s inability to read a list to realize that “The Avengers” WON the Hugo!

        The year before he and Teddy got slated onto the ballot, the year before he and Larry started Sad Pups. His memory didn’t go back a few months, and he apparently couldn’t use a search engine.

        I think Avengers won on the first ballot, so it wasn’t even close. Hugo voters liked that movie a lot — it beat out Hobbit, Hunger Games, and Whedon.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry, I meant the movie Joss only produced and wrote. 🙂 “Cabin in the Woods”. Point being, Brad didn’t notice that Avengers not only wasn’t ignored, it WON, by a wide margin.

        Subsequent Marvel movies have made the short list regularly as well, as have DC’s; I’m sure “Black Panther” will be on next year’s, along with at least one other superhero flick and a Star Wars.

        BDP Long is always very populist. “Harry Potter” movies have been short-listed, as have plenty of animations. LotR won all 3 years. And if Worldcon’s so high-falutin’, how did Lego Movie and the first Pirates of the Caribbean make it — a movie based on toys and one on an amusement park ride! So anti-Christian that “Lion, Witch and Wardrobe” was on there.

        Huh, the 1972 short list (for 1971 work) was pretty strong, wasn’t it?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Hm. I’d have to look at numbers to see if LEGO would have made it anyway. I was surprised they endorsed a movie with such a blatant anti-capitalist message over top of the merchandising. 😉

        Various incarnations of Star Trek have done well since the beginning, and continue to.

        1983 (for 82) was a good year too. I remember that one as a really hard decision. And you couldn’t change your mind once you’d mailed the paper ballot!


  13. From Sarah Hoyt’s blog post (https://accordingtohoyt.com/2018/04/20/the-good-the-bad-and-the-eternal/):

    “…literature and literary have bloody nothing to do with each other. Literature, in the sense of the stuff you study in school, is stuff that either has survived the test of centuries to speak to those yet unborn when it was written. Yeah, there’s also modern literature and that tends to be “literary and guessing” and most of it — thank heavens– will be mercifully forgotten if not mocked by our descendants.

    “That contemporary stuff is picked by literature professors on very specific characteristics. Some of it is just confusion. Because the old stuff we study tends to have a level of opaqueness in language, (because of the time when it was written and the evolution of language) they tend to assume that opaque meaning means “literary.” In the same way because we study the old books according to the current fads, we tend to study the old books according to the prejudices of our time: that is to say through a social-classes, struggle, anti-authority, and other Marxist distorting lens. Thus Pride and Prejudice becomes about female oppression and money, when well… no, it wasn’t about that except very marginally and at the edges. And what they do to Shakespeare is unforgivable.”

    As an actual professor of literature (Ph.D. in World Lit, which meant I too had to read the “literatures” of my major languages, which means Greek, Roman, and British Lit, and I’ve been teaching in the profession for over 20 years now) I am here to tell you that NOTHING in Hoyt’s description is valid. That is not how we choose works to study. That is not how we decide what literature is. And it is absolutely not true that literature from earlier eras is “opaque” to us. Some is — I’m looking at you, Tacitus — but it is not difficult to read for the reasons Hoyt seems to believe it is. That is, it’s not that we don’t understand the language of the writer or the circumstances they lived in. It’s because Tacitus deliberately wrote elaborate, complicated sentence, much as Milton did, in imitation of Tacitus and other writers of the Roman empire.

    And while it is true that some professors examine — for example — Austen through a Marxist critical lens, holy hell, not all of them do; and frankly a reading of Austen which studies the role of gender or of money in the text would be an interesting and excellent reading — and would not preclude (say) one that looked at the influence of the romance genre on Austen.

    tl;dr In almost every paragraph of this post, Hoyt shows herself as a leading candidate for the Dunning-Kruger award.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Hoyt (elsewhere) claims to have Austen, but everything she says about Austen shows she either hasn’t read it or read it a long time ago and without paying much attention. For instance, she claims that in Austen’s era, young women (women around the age to “come out,” so 16-20) were not permitted to walk outside — on the streets, or around towns, or in the countryside — without a chaperon. Anyone who has read Austen knows this is not the case. In P&P itself, just to chose one, we see Elizabeth walking three miles on her own; and Jane walks the streets of London by herself. Similarly, in S&S, both older sisters frequently wander around London on their own. And Anne Elliot travels by herself into the shady areas of Bath, to visit Mrs. Smith.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. In P&P, Jane catches a cold when she’s caught in a rain storm as she walks ALONE to visit Caroline. It’s kind of a major plot point of the book. Plus the title is Pride & PREJUDICE. The class system and how gentry of different classes see each other is the whole structure of the romance. This was understood in Austen’s day among her upper class readers, and later by the middle class when her novels were more widely released some time after her death. They considered her a satirist, not a romance writer, which is basic lit 101 if you study Austen.

        But bear in mind again, Hoyt has a masters degree in languages and literature. So she knows this is bunk. But, it goes to the refrain of folks like the Puppies — in the past, understanding was better, substantive and more authoritative. Now it’s a hippie mess. In the past, social justice was sometimes good and part of real civilization, but everything is fine now so those who pursue social justice towards equality now are faking, deluded and playing the victim to be able to take everything over and destroy it. And I guess Hoyt is very communism-sensitive or something?

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Very small plot nitpick:

        Jane actually catches the cold while riding horseback alone; her mother wouldn’t let her take the carriage. It is Elizabeth who then walks alone to the estate to visit Jane while Jane is sick, thus further damaging her reputation — not because she was alone, but because she was gauche enough to walk.

        So that’s actually *two* women travelling alone to the same estate in separate instances with no comment on them being alone.

        Your basic point, of course, is absolutely correct.


        Liked by 3 people

      4. Kat Goodwin: But bear in mind again, Hoyt has a masters degree in languages and literature. So she knows this is bunk.

        I’m more inclined to think that she managed to scrape through her master’s in literature without really understanding a lot of it in the same terms that many of the rest of you do. After all, this is someone who pines longingly and sentimentally for the previous reign of oppression in her home country.

        Liked by 4 people

      5. I did a joint film & lit module on Modern Gothic for my BA. We started at Dracula and went forward until we reached Scream. Such opaque, much confuse!

        Liked by 3 people

      6. Actually, with Sarah Hoyt I’m never sure whether she’s just putting on an “all those academics have no clue” act for her rightwing audience (sadly, that’s a thing with people courting that part of the political spectrum) or whether she really just scraped by by parrotting what she was supposed to say without grasping any of it. I don’t want to blame her university, since she attended a university with a good reputation, better than the reputations of any university I was ever affiliated with.


      7. Oh, for God’s sake, WH Auden understood Austen (“the amorous effects of brass”) better than Hoyt, (IIRC) almost a century ago.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Cicero’s a bombastic dude, but his Latin’s very clear. Caesar and Livy also wrote simply. And you can’t be bored by the incredibly snarky Petronius Arbiter — I mean, Trimalchio is still read just for the slapstick and snark.

      As for Austen, she seems to be confusing Regency England with a conservative Muslim country. Of course she was critically examining her society and gender roles therein! P&P is ALL ABOUT how the girls have to marry or be homeless after Father dies.

      And “To Kill A Mockingbird” is very straight-forward… and a rap album just won a Pulitzer!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. IIRC, Jane wrote to Cassandra about raging hangovers after nights out clubbing (or its Regency equivalent), so presumably she and all the other young women gave their chaperones the slip.

        We know Jane Austen was, at the very least, critiquing Eighteenth Century novels because her contemporaries spotted her doing it and, every now and then, her attention shifts from the plot and she gives the reader a sidelong glance, as if to say “See?”. Besides, anyone reading “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” ought to spot that money is going to be important.

        Liked by 4 people

  14. SH: “we tend to study the old books according to the prejudices of our time: that is to say through a social-classes, struggle, anti-authority, and other Marxist distorting lens.”

    Ummmm, Sarah? Wat Tyler (1381) would like a word.
    As would a very long line of anti-authority, struggling social classes across time and space.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s a really [insert euphemism here] claim though. I am not sure SH understands history or literature or politics with any level of precision or accuracy. I mean, does she really think that no one made observations about social classes or was anti-authority before Marx?

        No one can tell what is going to be around decades or centuries from now, or what will count as canonical. Canons change according to who defines them. Things that were wildly popular during the Regency (ex. Robert Southey’s epics) are virtually unreadable today. And in the 1790s Southey wrote a jacobinical play in three acts based on Wat Tyler’s rebellion, which was then released in 1817 in a pirated edition (PIRATED EDITION) to embarrass him as he got more conservative. And then that same text was later reissued with a preface by Upton Sinclair. Radical kid idealist, conservative poet laureate, social justice pro-labour guy — they could all find something in the same text/historical episode to speak to their circumstances and viewpoints. I mean, Shakespeare’s works were low-brow in his own day.

        And Hester Stanhope, Pitt’s niece and actual Regency woman, not only went out and about town on her own, she effin’ moved to the Lebanon, dressed as a sheik and lived out her life unmarried and doing what she wanted. The Regency, man. Love it. Awesome.

        Liked by 5 people

    1. Regular Commenter says: “Canons change according to who defines them. Things that were wildly popular during the Regency (ex. Robert Southey’s epics) are virtually unreadable today.”

      Yes, exactly!

      That was yet another thing wrong with Hoyt’s post. Anyone who has actually studied literature knows that 99% of what was popular at a given time never makes the “canon,” which (as RC points out) is constantly shifting, depending on what we find interesting. Sappho, to choose an example from my own field of interest, was wildly popular for centuries. Then, due to a convergence of events, she fell so far out of popularity that people stopped copying her works — now she’s popular again, but we have only a few poems / scraps of her writing.

      Another example: Milton used to be so important in the canon that you couldn’t get out of university without reading him. Now he’s very nearly unread. (Though I recommend Paradise Lost, especially. It’s excellent.)

      A third: For literally centuries, no one except specialists read Chaucer (who is also excellent). Now he’s eclipsed Milton.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, this.

        As for Sarah Hoyt believing that Heinlein, Pratchett and at least one work by John Ringo will stand the test of time, I think that’s highly unlikely. Heinlein will remain an important figure for the history of our genre for many years to come, but we are already seeing the shift from “beloved author everybody reads, even if the books are dated” to “of historical importance, but too dated to be readable” with Heinlein. In another twenty years or so, Heinlein will be where e.g. E.E. Smith and A.E. van Vogt are now – enormously important to the history of SF, but no longer read except by genre historians.

        Terry Pratchett was a highly beloved author and will remain so for some time to come, but what will eventually doom him is the parodistic nature of many of his works. Because parody and humor have an expiration date, when whatever was being parodied is no longer widely known and the jokes become incomprehensible without footnotes. Some Terry Pratchett works may survive, e.g. Wyrd Sisters will remain comprehensible for as long as Macbeth survives. Will any of them become timeless classics? No idea.

        As for John Ringo, he writes what is basically popcorn fiction for a certain audience. I suspect that in forty years or so, future fans will view a John Ringo book the way we view a vintage men’s adventure paperback from the 1970s. It may be entertaining in its preposterousness and also give some insight in the culture that birthed such fiction, but it’s more of a curiosity than a timeless classic.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. …. Because parody and humor have an expiration date, when whatever was being parodied is no longer widely known and the jokes become incomprehensible without footnotes.

        Well no worry then. Pterry’s books are always well-supplied with footnotes 😛

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I think the witches and Tiffany books will survive longer; even if you don’t get the references, they’re still amusing. You don’t need to know anything about Glaswegian stereotypes to be amused by Big, Wee, Not-so-wee, etc. Jock.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Well I don’t know that Heinlein is going to be that eventually because he’s in the educational market quite firmly with several of his most well known books. They’re regularly assigned in high schools and they are studied in academia. So that’s a continual market that can last a really long time, especially since books in the YA/kids area can have a very long life in print. Smith and van Vogt don’t have that. Heinlein, Bradbury, Le Guin, and some others do, which can lead to some interesting dichotomies. For instance, a lot of fans, especially those who started in the 1980’s and 1990’s, may not know who John Wyndham is, but over the last two decades, he’s regularly assigned to high school kids — The Chrysalids and The Day of the Triffids (from which The Walking Dead totally stole their opening,) so they know who he is.

        And parodies can stick around too. I was assigned The Princess Bride in high school — and so was my daughter. I think, at least in Britain if not globally, Pratchett will maintain a P.G. Wodehouse level of respect for some of his works, such as Small Gods. It might not last forever — Shakespeares are few — but if you’re being assigned to school children, the work sticks around.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. In Germany, the only SFF regularly assigned in schools is 1984 and Brave New World and occasionally The Giver. And Faust, of course, which is totally a paranormal romance in part I. And even Orwell, once a fixture of school reading lists, gradually started to vanish in the 1990s and 2000s (when I taught university freshmen in 2008, only two of of more than a hundred had ever read Orwell), though he had recently made a comeback.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. And speaking of… that whole lot, I see that Scrap/Failed Pup Declan has splashed out the money to buy an advert for his Vatican mysteries. That’s twice this year, and we’re less than 1/3 way through it! Last time IIRC he had the first at 99c and the second at more; this time the first two are both 99c.

    I hope being on these email ads is very, very cheap b/c the price discounts must be cutting into his profit. Unless he’s just trying to puff up his sales numbers and actually living off a day job or two.

    Liked by 1 person

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