People might find this of interest (or not)

So first off a simple warning about the sound in this video. For several minutes at the start, there is a nasty buzzing noise that makes the video unlistenable. Skip ahead to about 8 minutes in (comes back at 17 minutes). Secondly, if you don’t want to listen to Larry Correia, skip the whole thing.

The video is a panel from the 20booksto50K Vegas conference, which these days has a lot of former Puppies involved. The panel is Toni Weiskopf, Larry Correia and M.A.Rothman discussing the pros, cons and how-tos of social media. I think it may be of interest to puppyologists particularly those interested in the kayfabe of it.

[archive version https://web.archive.org/web/20211114174430/https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=wQ47ij8cQQI&index=80&list=PLCl3DWM-P5iOtytsCGsdrLmfjqQjAH8Jm ]

If people are wondering who Larry is targeting 22 minutes in, it is David Brin but then sound cuts out altogether.

Advertisement

80 responses to “People might find this of interest (or not)”

  1. Kind of fascinating how often they seem to get banned by Facebook and how common and natural they seem to think it is.

    Liked by 4 people

      • I managed to get on the wrong side of a FB algorithm and got locked out unless I’m willing to give them PII like a photo of a driver’s license or something else I’d prefer not having dumped on the internet the next data breach. (One of the IDs they’ll accept is a credit card, BTW.)
        Since FB has been harder to use and it’s a functional sewer/radicalization site, I said, “fuck it,” and didn’t bother to reclaim my account

        Liked by 6 people

        • A friend of mine made a fake account in my name on Facebook when it was still new. Still there, haven’t bothered with getting it removed.

          Liked by 1 person

      • The striking thing here is that it’s all just a grift for them. Larry explicitly admits that he insults others on social media, because his audience likes it and also because he thinks it’s funny. If there’s no audience, he doesn’t do it. Considering some of the terrible things Larry has said about other people, his sense of humour needs a serious adjustment.

        Plus, everybody who dares to disagree with Larry and M.A. Rothman is apparently crazy.

        Of course, it’s not all that surprising that “rightwing insult-spewing jerk” is apparently the brand Larry tries to project to sell books. However, I don’t think this is such a great model to embrace for the 20Booksto50K crowd, because they will insult as many if not more of the audience as they’ll win over.

        Liked by 2 people

        • everybody who dares to disagree with Larry and M.A. Rothman is apparently crazy.

          Rothman is the Father Of The Year washout who took his teens to the 2015 Hugo ceremony without warning them that there was likely to be a big backlash against the cheating by the Puppies — and then blamed Worldcon members when his kids were confused and upset by all the No Awards.

          It ain’t “everybody else” who is crazy.

          Liked by 4 people

        • The biggest issue I have with Larry is the people he drags along in his wake and attempt to follow his example. 50% of what’s wrong with Brad T is he thinks he can emulate Larry and that he’s a good role model for how to deal with conflict.

          Liked by 6 people

        • Sort of sad that some people have no higher ambition than making money by being an a*****e. You’d think that almost anyone could make better use of their time.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. This isn’t even the only panel at the 20Booksto50K conference with problematic panelists and/or content. There was one, which ironically also had sound issues, with the innocuous title “Writing action and adventure fiction”, where an eidtor at (I think) Kensington basically admitted that the target audience for action and adventure thrillers is the far right, that the problem with the decline of the genre in the 1990s is that too many books are aimed at women and then he went on a rant about “those damned liberals” trying to cancel one of his books.

    Considering that 20Booksto50K views itself primarily as a business focussed group aiming at increasing sales and making money, embracing the far right fringe of the genre fiction does not really seem like a smart move. Though they also had an LGBTQ panel and a trans woman panelist on the space opera and/or military SF panel.

    Liked by 3 people

    • From the vid:
      ” but then again you know uh there was a
      05:35
      side uh it had sort of a side of a
      05:38
      negative side effect
      05:39
      because they were so
      05:41
      um how can i put this they were so on
      05:43
      they were so right-wing
      05:46
      that he started attracting all these
      05:48
      neo-nazi groups and they started
      05:49
      idolizing him and bill being something
      05:52
      of a sucker in those days
      05:55
      reveled in the attention
      05:56
      you know and the pi that didn’t sit too
      05:59
      well with the publisher you know with
      06:00
      new york publishers especially
      06:02
      kensington where half the staff was
      06:04
      jewish you know so we didn’t you know we
      06:06
      couldn’t have another guy in his
      06:08
      book signing lions had a knife
      06:12
      yeah “

      Like

            • I’ve been thinking about this. My FB feed skews liberal, because it started as a collection of many people from the Legends of the Five Rings game (the original one) community and then over the past few years I had to start pruning it of Trump supporters. In that time I haven’t seen any hostility towards ex-soldiers as a class from my leftist or liberal acquaintances. Against particular soldiers accused of war crimes, sure, but not of all soldiers.

              In general my leftist acquaintances regard the mass of soldiers as victims of the System, where they enlist in the military to get a job with almost-decent wages and health care and then get used to promote policies to advance the interests of the elite who block at any attempts of the social reforms that would give enlistees a chance for other, non-military employment because that would dry up the elites’ access to military power. An ex-soldier enrolled at a very political-liberal college is more likely to be the target of well-meaning but intrusive questions about their PTSD than to be called a baby-killer.

              Liked by 4 people

              • Nancy Sauer: An ex-soldier enrolled at a very political-liberal college is more likely to be the target of well-meaning but intrusive questions about their PTSD than to be called a baby-killer.

                … after being thanked for their service.

                Liked by 2 people

            • Does the GI Bill exist? Not that reusing plots is in any way unusual in fiction, I could swear I encountered that basic idea in something back in the 1970s.

              Liked by 1 person

              • jamesdavisnicoll: Does the GI Bill exist?

                Yes, it’s actually a thing. My dad was in the army reserves in the Korean War (he spent it skiing at Fort Carson in Colorado), then got his university education on the G.I. Bill in return for his skiing  service.

                Liked by 1 person

            • I now want to read a thriller where Our Hero is an ex-combat veteran who doesn’t have PTSD (it’s a common effect, but not universal) who goes to a very liberal liberal arts college and has to fend off well-meaning fellow-students who want to introduce him to the college’s mental health clinic, yoga, mediation, kitten therapy, etc, etc.

              Liked by 4 people

            • Calling former soldiers “baby killers” is borrowed from the Vietnam war and who knows if it really happened back then. Cause I faintly recall hearing that returning US-soldiers from Vietnam were more likely to be attacked by older WWII veterans for daring not to win than by young anti-war protesters.

              And the ex-soldier having to deal with well-meaning students who want to help him through his PTSD (which may or may not exist) would make for a far more realistic thriller. They could still have someone try to shoot up the campus and the ex-soldier heroically rescuing his fellow students.

              But that wouldn’t confirm the prejudices of the far right.

              Liked by 2 people

        • i uh
          17:53
          just signed an author last week my name
          17:55
          is gary phillips some of you may know
          17:57
          some of his work he pitched me a
          17:59
          character
          18:01
          named jackie alvarez
          18:03
          basically somewhat of a female jack
          18:05
          creature is the best way i can describe
          18:06
          it at this point
          18:07
          but gary’s a very socially conscious
          18:10
          individual and my guidance to him was i
          18:13
          know this is we talked about right wing
          18:16
          in the past i know that the jackie
          18:18
          alvarez books lean left
          18:21
          but don’t make him lean so far left that
          18:23
          we lose our audience all right so again
          18:26
          you can write what you want but if you
          18:28
          want to sell and you want to be
          18:30
          successful you’ve also got to keep your
          18:32
          audience in mind so yeah there’s room
          18:34
          for a liberal action adventure book
          18:37
          uh a hero for the downtrodden
          18:40
          sort of thing but again it’s still got
          18:43
          to have that action-adventure vibe that
          18:46
          that keeps it going so trends change
          18:50
          but we still want to read fast-paced
          18:52
          stories

          Like

          • they yeah i mean you know you want to
            19:30
            talk about the downtrodden uh i have
            19:32
            found
            19:33
            in the last i don’t know
            19:35
            15 years
            19:36
            that conservatives are now the
            19:38
            downtrodden uh at least in book
            19:41
            publishing

            Like

            • um one of the traps that is very easy to
              21:32
              fall into now and this has plagued uh
              21:34
              this has plagued me ever since um
              21:37
              what’s his face invented facebook but
              21:40
              social media
              21:42
              can destroy
              21:44
              in a heartbeat they can destroy a career
              21:46
              that they can get a book cancelled
              21:47
              publishers live in mortal fear
              21:50
              of
              21:52
              good reads and twitter and you know all
              21:55
              the other social media i mean
              21:57
              it’s great to get
              21:59
              word out about your book but if one
              22:01
              person doesn’t like it and i experience
              22:03
              this personally with a johnstone if one
              22:06
              person doesn’t like it next thing you
              22:07
              know
              22:09
              three thousand people are piling on and
              22:11
              if you go to amazon
              22:13
              and you look up a book called trigger
              22:15
              warning which we did about three years
              22:17
              ago
              22:18
              again you know one of these crazy ideas
              22:20
              i came up with and
              22:21
              it was about a guy who gets out of the
              22:23
              service he’s a little older and he
              22:25
              enrolled he wants to finish his college
              22:27
              education he enrolls in a liberal arts
              22:29
              college
              22:30
              and the next thing you know all the
              22:32
              students
              22:33
              of course you know colleges
              22:35
              college campuses are really a swamp that
              22:37
              needs to be drained periodically because
              22:39
              they just preach you know left-wing
              22:41
              ideology and all this
              22:43
              and
              22:44
              a lot of people on the on the right or i
              22:47
              don’t even say the right conservatives
              22:49
              um they feel like everybody’s picking on
              22:52
              us why they you know i mean we just want
              22:53
              america the way it was and then when
              22:55
              trump got elected we got into a culture
              22:57
              war
              22:58
              and i’ve never seen this country so
              23:00
              divided as it is now but
              23:03
              one sap uh got a advance reading copy of
              23:06
              trigger warning and posted the most
              23:08
              scathing review
              23:10
              because what happens is this poor
              23:11
              soldier you know he goes on the campus
              23:13
              and everybody’s giving him a hard time
              23:15
              oh baby killer warmonger this and that
              23:17
              you know all these liberal kids
              23:19
              so there is a a criminal mastermind who
              23:22
              graduated from this college 30 years
              23:24
              earlier and he assembles a gang
              23:26
              they sneak onto the campus
              23:28
              and take over a coed dorm and threaten
              23:32
              to assassinate one student for every
              23:34
              hour that their demands are not met okay
              23:36
              you know a little die hard in there but
              23:38
              what the hell
              23:39
              but who do you think saves the day our
              23:41
              soldier boy he takes the law on and
              23:43
              kills them well
              23:45
              some woman in los angeles i can’t
              23:47
              remember her name she has a very popular
              23:49
              podcast
              23:50
              and she did 45 minutes just trashing
              23:54
              this book oh it’s the worst writing it’s
              23:56
              this it’s that you know
              23:57
              and within i would say 48 hours she had
              24:01
              close to a million hits
              24:03
              now you would think no publicity i mean
              24:05
              bad publicity is better than no
              24:07
              publicity that wasn’t really the case
              24:09
              this time around because there was such
              24:11
              a backlash
              24:13
              that kensington was thinking about
              24:15
              canceling the book that’s that’s how
              24:17
              serious it got and i said
              24:19
              well it’s your company it’s your money
              24:21
              you can do whatever you want but if you
              24:22
              cancel this book you’re canceling me as
              24:23
              well i will walk out the friggin door
              24:26
              because that is censorship and that’s
              24:29
              one thing you know we’re all screaming
              24:31
              about free speech
              24:32
              and then somebody doesn’t like something
              24:34
              in a children’s book you know or you
              24:36
              know if a book about asians is written
              24:38
              by a round eye

              Like

          • but uh the thing that we want to talk
            27:47
            about now is characterization how much
            27:48
            characterization does an action
            27:50
            adventure hero need now nick it depends
            27:52
            on the body count
            27:54
            seriously i mean that’s i used to tell
            27:56
            my authors i’m sorry
            27:59
            tell my action adventure authors i don’t
            28:01
            care what you do just kill a lot of
            28:03
            people okay because that’s why people
            28:04
            are buying these things
            28:06
            they’re buying them they want the
            28:06
            bloodshed let’s face it okay
            28:09
            um
            28:10
            and that hasn’t changed i mean i still
            28:12
            give out the same instructions only for
            28:13
            western writers i said i want you to
            28:15
            kill somebody in the very first seat

            Like

            • My introduction to action-adventure books was ‘The Guns of Navarone’, where Our Hero really didn’t like killing people (despite being fairly good at it) and who would really rather be living in a peaceful world where he could be off climbing mountains. I think this explains why I don’t read modern action-adventure.

              Liked by 2 people

            • It reminds me of when Shatner used to go on (I think) the Tonight Show and read out Sarah Palin’s Tweets in his particular style.

              They sometimes made more sense that way.

              Liked by 2 people

      • So the problem is that there are too many Jews in publishing, and not that Bill was loved by neo-Nazis? Please tell me I am reading this wrong.

        Liked by 3 people

    • I can see how appealing to the far right in the thriller/conspiracy genre might be a sound business idea (although completely terrible morally), but Pups proved it doesn’t work in SF/F at ALL.

      Liked by 2 people

      • And even thriller and western readers and writers are not all far right folks. Though I suspect that the ones who are not reactionaries are often despairing of the bad reputation the genre got.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So Larry’s against David Brin? The guy who writes good old space opera with plucky humans, hard SF, wins Hugos, sells big, and does just fine on social media?

    Oh, right… Brin’s not a complete asshole about liberals. He thinks the New Deal was a really good idea to get the US out of the Great Depression, and he isn’t afraid of gay people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Larry doesn’t like any SF author that actually writes fiction that sells well. Particularly older white male writers like Brin who don’t insult their readers and whose readers actually like them as a human being.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I’ve only met Brin a few times at cons, so I can’t say as I actually know him, but I enjoyed the time I spent with him.

        Maybe Larry doesn’t like him because Brin’s actually smart — got a PhD in comets, even.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, Brin has a “As the only adult in the room, I am happy to lecture you adorable kiddies about what’s what” shtick that often does not deliver to him the unbounded accolades to which he feels entitled. Although at least once he got a free coke out of it.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Also, Brin’s displeasure at not getting what is now the Otherwise for Glory Season compares to Wossnames for not getting the Hugo.

            Liked by 2 people

            • However, David Brin is called out for his not-so-great behaviour. Unlike the puppies, however, he’s still a member of the community, because he isn’t a complete jerk revelling in his jerkiness.

              Liked by 1 person

            • In these dark times I think we need to draw a distinction between throwing a hissy fit versus throwing a hissy fit and then forming the Sad Puppies.

              Liked by 3 people

          • My only interaction with him was at a WorldCon, where he came up to me, with zero prompting, and proceeded to tell me the reason why he writes so well and The Young Kids Like Me (I was 40 at the time) do not, is because they all have perfect teeth, while his are filled with fillings, and thus he picks up the transmissions that tell him things.

            Like

            • I am bit amused that the book he recently self-published seems to be the same book he mentioned having an idea for when I met him at a Canadian con in the early 1980s….

              Like

  4. That Kensington editor sounds like a clueless charmer. Of course Kensington has had a lot of problems, including bouts of not paying their authors. Kind of weird to have a publishing editor at a self-pub conference.

    20to50 is clearly trying to be an umbrella network that claims it’s just business and they will embrace all authors of any bent. The problem when you take that approach is that the right wingers gradually take over and try to drive everybody out in endless bouts of chest-thumping and insecurity, eventually either shrinking the organization as people book away from it or destroying it altogether with feuds. That’s especially the case when you try to do conferences and events as one of your main focuses/revenue streams. If 20to50 wants to keep maneuvering Kindle Unlimited and other sales tactics, letting right wingers like the Puppies crap all over your other members and big name authors whose records your members would like to emulate creates attrition. It devalues the worth of the supposedly useful advice and that’s the group’s main selling point.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The 20Booksto50K conferences include people associated with traditional publishing. Plus, the Kensington editor apparently also works for a 20Bookto50K related small press – small presses being totally fine, when operated by 20Booksto50K affiliated people.

      There also are a lot of service providers – audiobook companies, POD companies, etc… – at that conference. Plus, plenty of speakers who are far from rightwing. Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch spoke at a previous conference of theirs and they’re definitely not rightwing. This year, speakers included a Dutch woman who writes gay romance and a trans woman who writes space opera/military SF.

      Otherwise, you may be right that the various rightwingers may eventually drive out non-rightwing members and attendants, especially considering how many people folks like Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, Richard Fox, JDA, etc… have picked fights with. I wouldn’t feel particularly comfortable there – not that I’d be welcome anyway – and I suspect I’m not the only one.

      As far as I know, 20Booksto50K considers itself a politically neutral group, which is perfectly fine. But inviting known jerks to speak at your events is not a good move.

      Like

        • Yep, that’s what I’m talking about. If you don’t moderate, call your group/site “politically neutral,” free speech debate, etc., then authoritarians try to take authority; they drive other people out and mire the group in endless ranting about how they aren’t allowed to say anything, etc. It happened to Movement Atheism groups and networks, speakers networks, environmentalism groups and other activist networks, and there have been struggles in writer business organizations like the SFWA and the RWA. Their ideology is to exclude the unworthy and dominate, so if you don’t moderate them, that’s what they attempt to do. And if you’re a marginalized person, you usually have to go try to form other networks because otherwise, the authoritarians will make you waste your time dealing with “debates” about your existence and how you’re trying to make them feel bad, and reduce any usefulness you could try to get from the organization they’re trying to control.

          In a group organization that is meant to provide service and advice to writers on writing, publishing and marketing as the main revenue stream and purpose, that means that at their conference, instead of getting useful advice, the attendees get to listen to rantings about cancel culture, how queer material is ruining everything and so forth — stuff that is not politically neutral but if you object to it, you’ll be declared politically biased and problematic. In that situation, most people try to find a smoother middle with “reasonable” compromise, but a smoother middle doesn’t let right wing authoritarians dominate, so it usually just gets worse. And people leave. So if the people who run the organization don’t moderate (or are authoritarians themselves,) the organization eventually gets right wing and limited.

          And then there is the simple fact that no business area, industry and artistic field are politically neutral. They all have discrimination issues that people, such as writers, often have to navigate, get around and are of major business concerns. And instead of marginalized authors getting help in those areas from groups and networks, with authoritarians trying to dominate, the authoritarians don’t want others talking about those issues and usually declare authors dealing with those issues a threat to them.

          Apparently, white nationalists are very fond of KDP and are all over Goodreads (a site which is losing people because they don’t moderate it.) It’s a problem with any organization, network, site or service that tries to be a big umbrella and thinks that means including and profiling people who hate big umbrellas. Even large corporations have this issue, (though they usually survive it since the people in charge are usually white and authoritarians.) And it’s especially a problem when the group has rules and standards but then ignore enforcing them.

          Like

          • The 20Bookto50K Facebook group is moderated, requires approva to joinl and bans members on occasion, though bannable offences seem to be more along the lines of “questioning the wisdom of the group’s founders” than far right harrassers.

            And their conference did have an dedicated LGBTQ panel, at least one trans panelist (a longtime member of the group and therefore probably considered “one of the good ones”) and writers of LGBTQ romance on panels. I’ve also spotted at least one black panelist, probably more, though the panels are a lot more white and male than you would expect to see at a Worldcon.

            None of which means that even though they pay lip service to inclusivity and diversity, the sort of people they deem important enough to invite and put on panels won’t drive other people out. In fact, the most stunning thing about that action/adventure panel is that no tried to challenge or stop the ranting Kensington editor.

            Like

            • Yep, because they’re trying to be “reasonable” and fair and pretend that the society starts from reasonable and fair when it does not. Authoritarians’ whole ideology is to not be reasonable and fair but to dominate and complain that anything that seems not to favor them or let them dominate is therefore inherently unreasonable, etc. Making the space unworkable for marginalized people is how they “win,” so they try to make it unworkable. And if an organization doesn’t do more than lip service on its rules, marginalized people leave and the authoritarians start making more demands.

              That may not matter to an organization like 20to50 because they attract “business minded” authors who tend to lean right anyway. But it does affect an organization’s usefulness over time; it limits who the group is useful for. That action/adventure panel was useless because the Kensington editor used it to rant about how nobody bows to his views anymore. How does that help his audience? It does not. He’s out-dated and acted like he was drunk in the bar. He wasted their time and he made sure that some authors probably won’t go to another 20to50 event.

              Even when an organization follows its own rules and moderates most of the time, that it lets authoritarians rant all over other members and waste everybody’s time has an effect. SFWA has had a lot of problems getting newer SFF authors to join, not because the SFWA is supposedly “woke” but the opposite — because they’re very slow to tackle actual problems, problems marginalized authors face in the business, and often seem to let out of touch people and/or right-wing authoritarians blather rather than provide real advice and service. That’s what the SF Bulletin conflict was about — whether SFWA was really providing enough modern day service, given what it was allowing and even promoting.

              SFF authors really do need a SFWA and other business organizations, because those organizations can use the collective leverage of their members to improve business conditions and be a source of useful advice. Right now, SFWA is very important for taking on Disney and trying to get Star Wars tie-in authors what they are contractually owed. But how useful an organization is going to be directly lines up with how much it lets right-wingers crap over everybody else and make services and events useless and hostile.

              Liked by 2 people

        • Fox is a longtime member. Initially, I thought that was why they gave him a pass, because this was someone they knew. But the truth is they just don’t care as long as author X sells enough books to count as successful by their standards.

          Like

          • I’m currently reading some (more) Lindsay Buroker, who seems to be doing all right for herself in the self-publishing action adventure space opera genre (and other SFF) without these tactics. It can be done! I wouldn’t nominate her work for a Hugo, but I do enjoy consuming them like potato chips and don’t feel my intelligence or person is insulted.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Lindsay Buroker writes fun popcorn SFF, plus she’s a successful self-publisher and not a jerk. She also co-runs a self-publishing podcast which tackles many of the same topics 20Bookto50K tackles without being arrogant.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Even though it’s popcorn (and has guuuurls being heroic and competent), her science is often more plausible than anything any of the Pups ever wrote. It’s still fiction-y but doesn’t make you screech to a halt going “wait, WTF?”

              And she also writes fantasy (urban, epic, steampunk) that’s just as good and successful.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Cora, what is the name of the podcast? I googled her website but I didn’t find a mention of it there.

              Like

            • The podcast is aimed at self-published writers, i.e. it’s not a general genre podcast, but I do find it useful.

              I actually put it on my Hugo ballot once or twice, before I started up the Fancast/Fanzine Spotlight project and discovered a wealth of amazing SFF podcasts.

              Like

  5. Ideology aside, what makes them think I’m going to take advice from people who can’t even record their own damn panels properly, and then go ahead and put them up in this terribly buggy condition?

    Liked by 1 person

      • As long as it’s not NZ Worldcon. Although at least you could hear everything clearly, which I guess was part of the problem.

        But yeah, you can find stuff from Worldcons in the 80s online which have OK sound, even if the picture isn’t hi-def. Transferred from VHS tape, maybe even mono sound.

        Also, looking at that, they couldn’t have put the camera closer to the panelists? Nobody needs to see the back wall or the random audience members.

        Such professionalism. I’ve seen kids’ birthday parties recorded by other kids that looked and sounded better.

        Like

%d bloggers like this: