Catching Up

So I took a few days off aside from blog posts about beer, Picard and Dr Who and there’s a few things I missed that I probably would have covered if I’d been paying attention.

  1. So I did already catch-up on Dave Freer’s odd post on BookBub numbers (see here) but if I must check out Dave’s column’s again, it would be remiss of me not to point out his piece on the Covid-19 virus and how he spins that: “All those Cons the mean girls of SF and SJW spent so much politicking effort to control… may go on hiatus, if not die.” Hmmm. ( )
  2. Nebula finalists have been announced and Cora has an excellent summary here: I’ll do reviews of the short fiction starting soon.
  3. Larry Correia is apparently blogging again by hurling invective at his keyboard. Not going to link to it as it is the usual libertarian-hates-free-speech nonsense but a side effect is assorted trolls come out of the woodwork and get all agitated. There’s a sort of side backstory here though that I’ll get to in the next point.
  4. Mad Sad Pups. The Sad Pups (see above) are mad at Mary Robinette Kowal mainly because they need to be mad at somebody because Larry is worked up. This is a tad convoluted….see below

Brad Torgersen was Guest of Honour at the Life, the Universe & Everything writer’s workshop (LTUE) in Utah. LTUE last year had a pro-Sad Puppy presentation ( ) but in the past has had presenters such as Mary Robinette Kowal (via Writing Excuses). The current spin by the Sad Pups is that she was totes unprofessional and had a loud boycott and a rival event because Brad T was GoH. Unpacking that proved interesting. Back in January MRK posted this Tweet in a conversation about Courtney Milan etc:

So…backtracking. MRK was original invited by LTUE to be GoH, turned them down and suggested alternatives (three black women). LTUE chose Brad Torgersen instead. No wonder Brad (and hence Larry) was feeling a bit sensitive about things and needed to very loudly assure everybody how great Brad was.

The stuff about MRK running a rival workshop was because the FutureScapes workshops at Utah Valley University (which she’s been involved in since 2016) where on that weekend. This is all being drummed up into a thing in Puppy circles about how unprofessional etc etc. Because they never link to anything and avoid details, the claim just becomes free-floating and hence in the comments sections of Puppy outlets it’s become a legend about how MRK tried to boycott Brad Torgersen out of spite, even though the actual facts are quite different.

[ETA the LTUE website appears to be down, hence why I couldn’t find links to it. Looks like it’s had a malware attack.]

37 thoughts on “Catching Up

    1. I’m less concerned about it (and considerably less paranoid about its origins) than most of them and I just moved to Viet-fucking-nam (which, for any Sad Puppies reading, shares a rather porous border with China)

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Sure, Dave, conventions will die, universities will die, physical shops will die, globalism will die and everybody will live in little country bubbles with closed borders again and all because of a virus that only causes mild to moderate symptoms in the majority of the infected. How did the world ever survive the flu, let alone every year?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. A man’s got to have his revenge fantasies, doesn’t he?

      Right now mine involve angry Toronto raccoons and whoever designed this laptop keyboard; the buttons on the track pad stopped working six months ago, and until I can get my hands on an external keyboard I have to paste in every apostrophe, question mark and slash. NOT THAT I AM AT ALL BITTER.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just visited Correia’s blog. What a load of word vomit – quite literally! And apparently, he is furious at nickpheas for never having heard of LTUE. Because obviously everybody has to have heard of every single con or writers’ conference in Utah.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s hard for people from sparsely populated rural backwaters to really grasp the scale of the world and how entirely irrelevant even a “big” local event – even featuring fairly big name authors! – actually is to the rest of us.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I met a guy from Orange in regional NSW who seemed to think of Orange that way. What? I’d never heard of Orange? Never been there? Inconceivable!


      3. Canada… well, we live right next to the U.S. which consistently tries to overwhelm our culture, so it’s not necessarily as easy to feel that here.

        On the other hand, the Frantics did an old skit called ‘Bill from Bala’ which encapsulates that idea very well, with a guy sitting at a Greyhound bus station dealing with somebody who just doesn’t believe that he’s never heard of Bala…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. When I went to university I thought no-one would have heard of where I grew up, so I’d tell them that it was near somewhere more famous. I found that people hadn’t heard of the more famous place either.

        Liked by 4 people

      1. Utah is one of the rectangle states, the one with a little rectangle sticking out at one end. And I mainly know that, because I had a jigsaw puzzle of the US states as a kid. I also remember that Utah was yellow.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. It’s the northwestern one of the 4 squarish states in the southwest. (It’s the plains states that I have difficulty in picking out on a map.)

        Liked by 2 people

      3. My first introduction to Utah was via ‘The Great Brain’ books, which are set in 1890s Utah around one of the relatively few Catholic families in their small mostly-Mormon community. (Along with jokes about the fact that his mother used to win baking competitions because as a non-Mormon, she could actually use brandy in her fruitcakes.)

        Liked by 3 people

      4. I know where Utah is. I have finally managed to learn the location of all US states. Now I’m just trying to decide if I should try to learn the state capitals too.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair Orange NSW was infamous a few decades ago. I guess it’s human nature to assume people think and care about the same things locals do.

      Also I think the world was roughly 50/50 population split between metro and country until about 2007. I assume after the tipping point its just accelarated to even more metro the past 13 years.

      Finally, i git the impression MKR is kinda tight with the Utah authors via writing excuses, so its a bit of a surprise to see her getting shade.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Does anyone know if ‘self-proclaimed “radical atheist”‘ (according to Wikipedia) Douglas Adams ever commented on the LTUE conference using the title of one of his books, especially given that it was (originally) hosted at at university owned by the Mormons?

    (In fairness, the Wiki page for LTUE indicates that in recent years it has moved away from BYU.)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. And now I’m thinking about the scene in Iain Banks’s “Walking on Glass” which takes place in the number crunching department… which is actually a place where giant numbers are dropped into machinery which grinds them into powder.

    The numbers are made of Plaster of Salt Lake City, which is like Plaster of Paris, only duller.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Please, let us not unnecessarily insult Salt Lake City. I have been told by folks who have visited there that it’s a pleasant place, and that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which is based there, sounds “really nice.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For some reason, I ended up with a Christmas music CD sung by the Mormon Tabernacle choir. They really do sound nice.

      The CD was the deal of the week at Aldi (German discount supermarket chain) many years ago. And no, I have no idea why Aldi decided to peddle Christmas CDs by the Mormon Tabernacle choir.


      1. //The CD was the deal of the week at Aldi (German discount supermarket chain) many years ago. And no, I have no idea why Aldi decided to peddle Christmas CDs by the Mormon Tabernacle choir.//

        I do not question the Way of the Aldi. The Special Offers of the Week have spoken and if Aldi says this is the week for discount trumpets then I trust that the have brought not what I want but what I *need*.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I lived in Salt Lake for several years a while back. As I never get tired of pointing out, it’s a real city with real city amenities: gay bars, a fairly vibrant underground music scene, good bookstores, yuppymarts, a tech industry, etc.

      I’m not there now—I’m much happier in my liberal West Coast Big City—but it‘s been an awfully long time since it was much like what everyone thinks it is. For that, there’s still Provo.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Just curious – how many authors turned down the GOH spot after Kowal before they got far enough down on the list to ask Brad?

    Brad and Larry might feel more comfortable at a Puppy-friendly con like DragonCon. The literary GOH for 2020 is a guy named Scalzi.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. camestrosfelapton: the organiser is sympathetic to the Puppies.

        This is a major understatement. At least one of the people who has been deeply involved in putting the con on over the years has presented a pro-Puppy propaganda session retconning the Puppy debarkle at several LTUEs, and at least one Worldcon and one NASFiC. (Of course, when he proposed the session to Worldcon, he didn’t tell them what it really was about.) 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey, sorry I missed this discussion the other day.

    I lived in SLC for five years, back in the day — 89-94. I can confirm that it’s a real place, and even way back then it was a pretty nice city, IMHO. I even saw Orson Scott Card give a talk at BYU one time. 😉

    I’m pretty adaptable — and I’m from the Bible Belt — so I didn’t have much trouble getting along with the conservative culture. In general, Mormons are very civil, community-minded people, and though they do tend to be rather ignorant of a lot of things, they’re not really hard to get along with. My only real problem with living in Utah was climate/geography related — white (snow) forever in a loooong winter, and brown (high desert) forever the rest of the year. Blech! SLC itself is in a valley — the Salt Lake Valley, oddly enough — and it’s pretty green, but there’s desert all around it. Not my kinda landscape!

    Liked by 1 person

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