Debarkle Afterword: Dramatis Personae

Through this saga, several key figures have been highlighted during the narrative. In this final chapter, we will see where each of them landed at the end of 2021. People and organisations are presented in the order that they appeared in the text.

Worldcon and the Hugo Awards: The famous convention was scheduled to be held in Washington DC for 2021. However, to minimise the disruption from the pandemic the convention was rescheduled to December. Attendees are required to be vaccinated and wear masks. The Hugo Awards were also rescheduled to December. As of writing the voting had closed.

John Scalzi: the author continues to enjoy commercial and critical success and is still published by Tor Books. His Interdependency Saga was a finalist for Best Series in the 2021 Hugo Awards. His blog Whatever is still going and has included posts from his daughter Athena Scalzi.

Vox Day: Day never formally gave up on Qanon but he quietly stopped mentioning it during 2021. His main blog content has been promoting his web-comic platform and posting anti-vaccine propaganda. In 2021 his blog was shut down by Google leading him to re-opened it on a WordPress site but without a comment section. The movie version of his Alt-Hero comics was not released. He ended his feud with alt-right social media site Gab. He has yet to finish his epic fantasy saga.

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America: The SFWA is still going and its current president is Jeffe Kennedy, a romance and fantasy author.

Teresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden: Teresa is still a consulting editor and Patrick is still the Editor-in-Chief at Tor Books. Making Light still operates as a blog with a community of commenters.

Baen Books and Toni Weisskopf: Baen is still publishing a wide range of science fiction. In 2019 Discon III (the 2021 Worldcon) announced that Toni Weisskopf would be a Guest of Honour at the convention[1]. The official web forum of the publisher, Baen’s Bar, continued as a site for discussion but over the years had become less active. Nonetheless, in the wake of January 6, 2021, Capitol Riots, some threads on the Bar were actively discussing armed “resistance”[2] including calls by author Tom Kratman for Trump to form a militia wing of his supporters. An investigation into extremist violent rhetoric on the Bar by fan-writer Jason Sanford highlighted the extent of the radicalisation on the web forum[3]. To manage the subsequent media attention and amid fears that Internet Service Providers might take action against Baen’s websites, Weisskopf temporarily closed Baen’s Bar[4]. In turn, Sanford was subject to social media harassment by supporters of the Bar, as well as more reasoned push-back from Baen authors such as Eric Flint and David Weber[5]. Amid the controversy, Discon III announced that Weisskopf had been removed as one of the Guests of Honour which generated its own controversy[6].

Larry Correia: Correia continues to produce popular books and in 2021 he won his fourth Dragon Award for his science fiction book Gun Runner, co-written with John D. Brown. He retains a contentious relationship with Facebook.

N.K.Jemisin: In 2020, Jemisin was awarded a $625,000 MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant[7]. In 2021 she was listed in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World[8]. The film/TV rights for her multi-Hugo award-winning Broken Earth series was bought by Sony Pictures in 2021 for a seven-figure sum with Jemisin herself set to adapt the books for the screen[9].

Sarah A Hoyt: Hoyt bought back the rights to her Darkship series from Baen books and is currently re-editing them so she can publish them independently. She has recently moved from Colorado.

The Mad Genius Club: The lineup of the Mad Genius Club had shifted only a little. After the Puppy campaigns, the focus of the site returned to giving advice to aspiring independent authors with minimal politics but a lingering suspicion of traditional publishing. Dave Freer is living a self-sufficient lifestyle on an island off the coast of Tasmania where he is engaged in a dispute with the local government.

GamerGate: The more famous names attached to GamerGate have long since moved on but if you say “Gamergate” three times on social media, the lingering mass of true believers will appear to explain how they were all misunderstood.

Mike Glyer: File 770 remains a popular source of news and gossip in fandom including coverage of the latest disputes and controversies at Worldcon.

Benjanun Sriduangkaew: Has published several novels and short fiction since 2015.

Brad R. Torgersen: In 2019, Torgersen won the Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction novel for A Star-Wheeled Sky. For a brief period in 2021, his Wikipedia page also listed his military medals which included the Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon awarded to officers “who have completed a prescribed leadership course at an NCO training school”[10].

John C. Wright: Wright withdrew the rights for several of his novels published by Vox Day’s Castalia House and republished them with Russell Newquist’s Silver Empire.

Tom Kratman: Can be found on Quora arguing about historical wars.

Castalia House: Has largely stopped publishing new science fiction

Marko Kloos: Kloos has been a finalist four times for the Dragon Awards. Two of his short stories was adapted for the Netflix animated sci-fi anthology series Love, Death and Robots.

Kary English: English is still writing stories and remains involved in the Writers of the Future Contest.

Michael Z. Williamson: Having multiple Facebook accounts in slightly different names allows Williamson to argue against masks and vaccines despite regular temporary Facebook bans.

The Sad Puppies 4 Website: Ownership of the domain name was lost by the former Puppies and the site has been adopted by various owners in the years since. For a while, it was a website promoting Italian slot machine websites and a site linking to audiobook versions of the Quran. It is currently being used to display an example blog (about carpet cleaning) for a WordPress template.

The Dragon Award: Dragon Con has not published detailed statistics on the voting of the awards. The level of participation in the awards is not known.

Declan Finn: Despite several efforts, Finn has not been a Dragon Award finalist since 2017. He has not made a return visit to Italy.

Richard Spencer et al: The deadly Unite the Right Rally of 2017 in Charlottesville led to a civil case against the organisers of the rally by nine victims of the violence. 12 individual defendants and five white nationalist/supremacist organisations were found guilty on multiple charges. The jury awarded $25 million in damages to the victims[11].

Jon Del Arroz: The case Del Arroz had filed against the 2018 Worldcon lasted until June 2021. Most of his claims against the convention were dropped during the litigation leaving only one claim for defamation. The organisers of the 2018 Worldcon settled this final claim rather than continue the case any further and paid Del Arroz an undisclosed sum and made a public apology for implying he was racist[12]. In August 2021, Del Arroz was permanently banned from Twitter for violating their rules against “hateful conduct”[13] although he has been seen on the site since using a different account.

Comicsgate: Jon Del Arroz, Ethan Van Sciver and Vox Day are no longer feuding. The mix of culture-war rhetoric to promote crowdfunded projects continues.

Qanon: On November 2021, a sub-group of Qanon followers gather in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas with the expectation that John F. Kennedy would appear. He didn’t.

20 Books to 50K: Remains an active Facebook group helping aspiring authors. Their 2021 Vegas conference featured a panel with Toni Weisskopf and Larry Correia discussing social media strategy.

Camestros Felapton: Intends to redirect his efforts to shorter and more poorly footnoted posts. The proportion of typographical errors will be unaffected.

Timothy the Talking Cat: Despite many requests, Timothy did not appear or contribute directly to this project[14].


Footnotes

83 thoughts on “Debarkle Afterword: Dramatis Personae

  1. I just want to thank you for this project. Reading it has been a joy (and occasionally a nightmare, but only because of the horrible things done and said by horrible people). Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Rather than “paid Del Arroz an undisclosed sum,” the amount called for in the settlement was $4000.

    And in respect to Timothy’s “despite many requests” — just how often did Timothy ask to be part of the project? I have no doubt he also suggested renaming it to “The Decattle” which would have mooved things right along…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Making Light still operates as a blog with a community of commenters.” Would that this were so. There seems to have been no new post since April 2021, and in recent weeks (or is this just me?) the site has somehow lost touch with its CSS stylesheet and is presenting as a bland wall of HTML text.

    Meanwhile, congratulations on all this. It is monumental, like the one Shakespeare’s Patience sat on, securely masked and smiling at the grief of Puppies.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. And what’s more, the site is having some problem with WordPress which makes it impossible to post a comment unless you’re using FireFox and jump through some hoops. As much as I used to love it as a community, I’m afraid that at this point we have to call it dead.

      Like

      1. I hope many, MANY people have saved the entry from whenever it was James D. Mcdonald (and Debra Doyle?) drove the route and did the turns and timings, with photos, proving that B&B Hill mistook a hotel sign for a UFO and did not, in fact, get kidnapped by the Grays in New Hampshire.

        That’s worth spreading around. Preferably in a larger font.

        Also, I got to use “There’s still candy in him!” about a different RWNJ recently.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Huh. That reminds me how I kept Trufen.net going after the founder lost interest (I had editor-level access) — til one day I clicked on and it wasn’t there anymore. All the lessons I learned writing material for that news blog went into building the one I have now. (Although I have never caught up with Trufen.net’s practice of having great icons for each category of post.)

          Liked by 2 people

  4. “armed resistance” doesn’t strike me as the best choice of words. At the least you could put scare quotes around “resistance”.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Two Marko Kloos stories have been adapted for Love Death & Robots – Shape-Shifters and Lucky 13. They have done 4 Scalzi stories and promise at least one more in a future season.

    Jemisin’s MacArthur Foundation grant is probably worth a mention here (unless it was mentioned in one of the previous instalments).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hampus Eckerman: OK, we don’t want you to be shocked but… Declan Finn has never eaten Italian food again!

      Like

  6. Typo:
    “leading him to re-opened it on a WordPress site” should be “leading him to re-open it on a WordPress site”.

    Like

  7. Overall rambling comments while I’m watching TV:

    Regarding footnote 9, could it be mentioned WHY it wasn’t allowed on his page? Because it’s a participation trophy (so not notable) and/or because of suspicious IP addresses, whatever, I forget. As it stands, it’s unclear why that’s in there to anyone who hasn’t been following closely. And it should be there.

    I question whether Baen really publishes a “wide” range of SFF. Unless you’re giving them extra credit for having even more tyops than you do. (But you don’t charge for your product either, and you are happy to have Tyop Patorl fixing the problems.)

    Can we have a footnote that Freer’s dispute literally involves sewage that’s liable to contaminate his neighbors’ land and water? Normal people won’t sympathize with his position if they know what it is; otherwise they might, accidentally. “Illegal sewage discharge” is a fun phrase, I think.

    Jemisin’s McArthur grant should be mentioned, even if it was before. Because everyone calls it a “genius grant”, and I want to see that in print here at the end. So much for all the sooper geenyuses (Mad and otherwise) among Puppies who hated her. And it really is an honor as well as a big chunk of money.

    Why did Hoyt move? Husband get a new job in some red state where glorious freedumb isn’t restricted by not having to tolerate a piece of cloth over your face for a little bit of time when you go out? Maybe only for a lower cost of living? I bet it isn’t on either coast, and if it is, we’ll hear her whining about it.

    Bonus applause for the last footnote.

    Like

  8. I feel obligated to note that not only is Beale’s bad fantasy series incomplete, the second published volume, by his own admission, is incomplete. (He rushed into publication to qualify for the Best Series Hugo. And failed to qualify for the nomination.) He is literally selling an unfinished draft as a final product.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My ongoing project to not review Baen-published books looks even better in the context of the Baen Boards thing. Although I did fuck up once: thought a Bujold book had a self-published ebook but it didn’t. Didn’t notice until it was too late to find a replacement.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I have a book club and I am thinking of proposing we read Kagan’s Mirabile even though the current edition is a (reportedly error-filled) Baen edition, which I guess makes me history’s greatest monster. The Tor edition is better but also very out of print.

        Like

          1. Apparently the Baen also loses the interstitial material used to pitch the collection as a novel, the loss of which, at the risk of saying something positive about Baen Books, I am actually OK with.

            Like

  10. Lou Antonelli’s first novel was nominated for a Dragon award in 2017, and in 2020 he ran in the US Congressional elections. In October 2021, sadly, he died suddenly at home in Texas.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I knew the SP4 blog went to Italian slot machines (something Declan will never play), but I didn’t know it then went to audio Qurans! That’s just… chef kiss considering Puppy opinions.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. I’m not surprised.

          Also not surprised that people who claim to be all het up about famous (alleged) pedophiles are big MJ fans. Projection again.

          Some of the Reddit suggestions were pretty funny.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. The link in footnote 10 goes to the section Fiction awards and honors, not Military decorations.

    (And I think the joke there is on the US military more than Torgersen.)

    Like

  13. I still stand by my requests for clarification/expansion on Brad’s Wiki disqualification and Freer’s sewage. Maybe add so it says “in a dispute with his local government over sewage discharge”.

    Also change sentence to “Making Light still exists”, deleting everything after that.

    Was Qanon waiting for JFK Sr. or Jr.? I thought it was Jr. He didn’t appear either. Maybe revise that.

    Like

      1. I know Senior got with the ladies a lot, but I thought there was only one Junior. But what do I know, I’m in consensus reality at least 90% of the time.

        Like

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