Starting February: Debarkle

I’ve been mulling over for some time (years tbh) writing a history of the Sad Puppy/Rabid Puppy attempt to hijack the Hugo Awards. A few things have put me off doing so. Two of the obstacles is any account needs at least some treatment of RaceFail and of the Requires Hate story and they are rabbit holes of controversy (but there are ways through that I think). However, one issue is an end point. In terms of Larry Correia’s frustration at not getting an award, the 2016 Dragon Award ceremony, which also saw Vox Day’s Castalia House getting its participation trophies, is an obvious place to stop. You can finish a story there and say “and the puppies went away and had their own awards”. It is unsatisfying and misleading though.

The appeal with finishing the story there is the main action of the Puppy Debarkle ends there with things petering out with the collapse of Sad Puppies 5 and the process reforms blunting the impact of Rabid Puppies 3 the following year. However, the point of writing about the Debarkle is the wider context. Fandom has had its fair share of squabbles, kerfuffles and scandals but what makes the Debarkle interesting in particular is the connection with wider events. The Sad Puppies presented their unexpected fannish-insurrection as primarily a question of aesthetics, as Larry Correia stated in his first attempt to hijack the Hugo Awards, this was an attempt to frustrate the “literati”. Contrariwise, the opposition to the Puppies contended that they were a politically reactionary movement.

It is this second issue that frames any discussion. It’s not a difficult proposition to demonstrate, that the Puppies were a politically reactionary movement motivated by a dislike of the left in general and the advocacy for women and people of colour and LGBQTI people more specifically. By late 2016 the Puppies of all stripes were barely pretending otherwise and, of course, Vox Day’s Rabid Puppies never pretended otherwise. But a more open question is whether the process of the Debarkle radicalised the Puppies or whether a growing social rift in America (and beyond) was radicalising them regardless?

I don’t know the answer to that question but it is the kind of question I could get a better answer to if I attempt this. Of course, placing the Puppies in the context of the politics also gives a point in time to look back from and say “how did we get here?” That point looks very much like January 6 2021.

Take, for example, this artefact of current right wing discourse in the wake of the attempted putsch in America’s capitol:

“Apparently Sarah Hoyt is the only non-cuck at Instapundit.”

Or, looking in a different direction, imagine being a future historian and trying to explain all the context to this tweet:

Neither GamerGate nor the Debarkle by themselves explain events and both were shaped by social forces that were hard to see. Yet, rather like the tracks made by invisible particles in a bubble chamber, the revealed shifts in attitudes and changing political coalitions that were also leading up to changes on a bigger scale. Within a short time, political upsets in the US and UK (Trump becoming the Republican Party POTUS nominee and the Brexit referendum) saw right-wing, populist, anti-rational positions taking hold of national policy. Where they motivated by the same thing as the Puppy movements? We can debate that but the Puppies generally thought so (Brexit more than Trump oddly).

Five years after peak-Puppy, in the hell year that was 2020 notable figures in the Debarkle were pushing firstly covid-19 conspiracies, followed by attempts to mobilise anti-lockdown protests, followed by anti-mask wearing propaganda, followed by anti-vaccine propaganda. In the wake of Donald Trump’s election defeat, chief Sad Puppy Larry Correia was a notable booster of “steal” conspiracy theories and his posts on the topic were widely shared in conservative circles. Meanwhile, since late 2017, Vox Day was an early adopter and promoter of “QANON” the free-floating anti-rational meta-conspiracy theory and also an early advocate in 2020 of the need for Trump to seize power by force to ensure a second term.

The Debarkle (in particular peak Debarkle in 2015) presaged events in a microcosm but also later events clarify questions. At the time, it was an open question as to how politically extreme many of the Sad Puppy leaders where, there even people who attempted apparently good-faith arguments that Vox Day somehow wasn’t that extreme. Supporters of the Sad Puppies would often point to Sarah Hoyt (a woman and an immigrant to the US from a non-anglophone country) as clear evidence that the Sad Puppies were neither sexist or racist. I believe that even at the time the evidence demonstrated that their argument was flawed but with 2020 hindsight, the manner in which Hoyt refers to the VP-elect of the USA Kamala Harris is a much simpler refutation of the idea that she somehow is immune to sexism and racism.

Nor would it be sensible to write about the 2015 side-plot of the infamous Tor Boycott without pointing to Mad Genius blogger and one-time Castalia House author Peter Grant stating in the wake of yesterday’s attempt to overthrow the US constitution that: “If I were in D.C. today, I’d be in the Capitol along with the protesters.” If you’ve overtly placed yourself to the right of the leaders of the Republican Party (and for that matter the very right wing current Vice President of the US) and are contemplating civil war because you’ve fully bought into a stab-in-the-back mythology of stolen victory…well…”“extreme right wing to neo-nazi, respectively” was always a very apt description. How much time did we spend dissecting the various political positions that notable Puppies might have in an attempt to tease out the nuance of their politics? It’s a lot easier to sum up as “I’m not sure what they thought in 2015 but within five years they’ll be demanding the violent overthrow of the government in a far-right putsch.”

I’ll post more about the structure and the schedule of Debarkle as a blog series. Obviously, and as always, comments and corrections will be more than welcome, indeed expected — particularly as most of you were there at the time and many of you were actively involved in countering the Puppies for years before I stuck my oar in.

Blogiversary: Greatest Hits

Five years of all this nonsense but what nonsense were people reading and when? I’m down here in the archive stacks of Felapton Towers and blowing the dust off the weird old filing cabinets to find out. These posts are just the numbers-game hits rather than special favourites and often other factors drove the traffic to them.


The first year out for the blog and Puppy-kerfuffling was already in full on kerfluff.


2016 was the year that the unreality field started spilling out everywhere.


2017 was dominated by Rabid Puppy shenanigans. In particular Vox Day’s spoiler campaign for John Scalzi’s new sci-fi trilogy.


I was downloading a report from an online database the other day and I was entering a date range. I wanted to cover the whole set of records which started in 2011. So I picked 2011/1/1 as the start date and that day’s date which I typed as 2018/5/8. What? I think my brain stopped updating the year and I’ve been stuck in 2018 ever since.

The reality dysfunction was going full-on as world politics got even stranger. Meanwhile this blog was forced into self-referentiality as I got caught up in my own Sad Puppy kerbungle and then later became a Hugo Finalist.


At the very start of January 2019 I considered winding down the blog. Later I decided to post something every day. I’m fickle. Surprisingly, it was the Nebula Awards that drove traffic to the blog.


The year isn’t finished yet but it started on fire and followed up with a global pandemic. This is a first-quarter list but I think some of the themes for the year are clear…

Hey, hey, hey, it’s Chris Chupik!

Hi Chris!

Thanks for dropping by and reading this blog and then reporting back. It’s certainly a thing that you do I guess 🙂

Anyway…I’ve a few questions if you don’t mind.

    You and other Sad Pups often made angry sounds about selective quoting, even when whole paragraphs of text were quoted…yet, you always make an effort to quote misleadingly. How come?
    Did you not think it really odd when Sarah Hoyt said in the comments that:
  • “Excuse me? I’m targeting WHAT?

  • I can honestly say I haven’t thought of gypsies since I saw their encampment near mom’s. (And then it was “oh, it’s still there.”)”

    “Now apparently people in this blog hate gypsies and want to commit genocide against them.  This is amazingly bizarre.  Yes, I know that the idiot Floppy Camel has taken stuff from comments and interpreted it through his looking-glass mind to mean that.  Yeah.  Well, you know, he’s so invested in disguising his perfectly normal, traditional marriage, because he and his wife have been scamming the community out of “diversity” attention for years, that he can’t possibly be thinking anymore.  The migraine of trying to reconcile that nonsense, including, btw, the belief that Dave Freer will cause people to attack them by revealing they’re utterly conventional (and across the world.  And annoying/reviling people who have never attacked anyone, ever) probably rotto-rooted what remained of his brain.”

    • And did you forget that in that same post (the one where she was saying the anti-Romani prejudice on her blog was rumours and innenudo) that she asserted that their behaviour encouraged violence against them? Odd, if you did forget, because again, I think that IS something that would stick in my memory.

    “Because Europe going nuts and killing the strangers in their midst is such a ridiculous idea and hasn’t happened throughout history.  And Europe isn’t about to hit the wall with the welfare state and EU and need a scapegoat. Yeah, we did say gypsies’ behaviors encourage this.  But they are their behaviors.  Not rumors, but things they are actually proud of.  And which, incidentally, mesh very badly with the welfare state.”

    • On that, don’t you think there’s something a bit weird about that defence given that it is literally an admission?

    Just curious. I know that the only likely response will be avoidance of the topic but let me ask you another question. Look back on those threads or just that comment above and replace the name of the ethnic group there with some other ethnic group (pick a few and try it out). Would you be cool with those statements now?

    John C Wright to Storm a Building

    Here’s a thing which is in turns wrong, absurd, despicable and then absurd again.

    The Daily Beast in late February carried an article on three Instagram ‘stars’ – the sisters have an apparently innocuous enough degree of celebrity from their lifestyle posts on Instagram. What the Daily Beast went on to reveal was that these young women are the daughters or far-right anti-Muslim figure Pamela Geller.

    I’m not going to link to the post. I think it is simply shitty journalism. There’s no obvious news there. There’s no indication that any of the women are somehow sneaking in their mother’s views into lifestyle posts. The connection is simply that they are the children of somebody appalling. It’s at best gossip and at worst a way of harassing somebody’s family because of their views. I’ve zero sympathies for Geller but that doesn’t mean such tactics are smart of acceptable because aside from anything else it makes everybody’s lives shittier.

    Enter well-known internet-troll Milo Yianopoulos – he is claiming this a plot by The Daily Beast to send ISIS against Geller’s daughters. Which is hyperbole – The Beast’s actions were careless and unethical IMHO but not some ISIS plot. Bloviating science-fiction author John C Wright has got all agitated as a consequence:

    Milo asks, and with considerable justice, why there is not a million man march on the offices of the Daily Beast, in strength and numbers and determination needed strike the fear of God into their hearts.

    And later in the comments:

    That is why we need a mob to storm the offices of the Daily Beast, and, without technically breaking the law, paralyze their daily operation.

    Gosh. No sign as yet that JCW has attempted to storm the offices of The Daily Beast. As far as I can tell from his tone, he wants other people to go and do it form him. For a legal scholar, he doesn’t seem to have thought through either how he could ‘storm’ an office and ‘paralyze their daily operation’ without legal consequence. It just sounds good to him and in reality, we know JCW isn’t going to do anything. But some far-right extremist might and JCW here is showing the kind of behaviour he is condemning above – pointing out targets to an audience whose fringes contains people willing to use deadly violence.

    Far-right extremist in the US have killed more people in the US than ISIS. A fact that people like JCW won’t engage with.

    Meanwhile, perhaps JCW needs to talk to some of his fellow puppies – they explained to us all a few weeks ago how connecting online identities with real people isn’t actually doxxing and supposedly quite reasonable behaviour and not at all irresponsible even if those people have upset extermists with openly violent views. Hmmmm.

    I’ll be Leaving Dave Freer Alone

    Dave, it appears, is feeling put upon in his latest column.

    He complains about Jim Hines and rambles about tarantulas and people putting things in their bum and compares himself to a victim of a witchhunt. It would be tempting to ask him ‘Seriously Dave, what the f_ck?’ At this point not even Vox Day is buying the ‘Fieldsy’ theory – it pretty much collapsed once people started looking at it.

    Reading that column, I’m just sort of sad. I tried to let the guy know early in the piece that he was setting himself up to end up in this situation. Instead, he made claims he couldn’t back up, told obvious untruths to his colleagues and then launched into some really unpleasant attacks on a family that has done him no harm at all.

    That column is what he’s left with – that’s the writer he is. There’s no riposte or insult that I could write that would be as bad as the ones Dave imagines he is recieving. He lets those imaginary demons torturer him and attempting to persuade him that the demons aren’t there only feeds his faith that they are plotting his demise.

    So I suggest let him be. If you a kind person you can’t help him and if you are unkind person you won’t be as cruel as his own imaginings.


    On the previous double-down post at Mad Genius, Dave has deleted comments from people posting links to Lou Antonelli’s retraction. He has added his own comment:

    “We seem to be having an affliction of determined trolls – [CF: some names], as well as a rash of psuedonyms some sharing IP addresses. All of these people have been set conditions for posting again – posting a full list of how they I’ve seen no signs of compliance. Let me say it in small words and short sentences.

    There are many young families among the Sad Puppies who have suffered attacks on their reputations and careers – and with infinitely less substance or reason, and with far more damage than the largely self-inflicted ‘injury’ you’re being hysterical about. People who called Brad’s wife and kid ‘shields’. People who called Sarah a Mormon man. People who called me a liar when I presented verifiable figures showing the level of ideological discrimination. People who called us Nazis, racists, homophobes, misogynists – all of which even if there was a total absence of evidence for, you and your friends screamed from the rooftops, got published in the press right across the world. Yes. When threatened with legal action we got the initial story retracted, but it appeared in papers across the world. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what was hurled at us. Where were you then, thinking about the young families being hurt? Not one of the crew now screaming what a wicked person I am stood up and lead, and did what you claim I should do. But you’re better than us? You’re showing us morality?

    Show me how it should be done.

    In the meanwhile I’ll continue to spam-list your comments, which will eventually result in you not just failing to post here, but unable to post on wordpress anywhere.”

    Again – I’d submit that there is no kindness that he will accept in this matter and there are no harsh words that can be said to him that will reach the level of the persecution he is currently imagining for himself.


    Well, I don’t want this blog to be all Freer all the time but Dave really is insistent. A second thing I don’t want to fall for is being pressured into revealing personal information because of continued threats by Dave Freer to attack the Meadows family. What anyone and everyone (including current allies of any Sad Puppy) should take away from this, is that certain individuals will go after people’s families on almost zero pretext. That’s the behaviour they engage in and/or cheer on – if they have been restrained in their use of such tactics previously it has been for cynical reasons.


    Me posing for a selfie in Aberdeen completely obscuring the image with my enormous face


    Luckily Dave has made one part easy: Aberdeen.

    It puzzles me why he’s focused on it but I assume he realised his mad-genius argument was weak. Consequently, he boosted it by claiming that I was in Aberdeen when Toby Meadows was in Aberdeen. Other elements of his argument could be mistakes, bad reasoning, or maybe its even possible for a New South Wales IP to keep looking like Brisbane. Who knows? I know Dave can genuinely fool himself but…Aberdeen? No. Never been and as I’ve pointed out, I haven’t been to Scotland this century.

    So Dave overstated his case and made me being in Aberdeen a cornerstone of his argument. And upon this granite rock, he has built his church.

    It was tricky for me to immediately counter the Aberdeen aspect of his argument because I didn’t know when the Meadows family were in particular parts of the world. Dave seemed to suggest in Brad Torgersen’s post that he tracked me going TO the UK at the same time as the Meadows and then BACK to Australia at the same time. However, this *may* have been clumsy wording on his part – either way, it was false as the Meadows were (apparently) in the UK already in 2015 when I started blogging and didn’t move until sometime in the first half of 2016.

    “Oh? REALLY? Then she would be very grateful that Lou revealed her ‘husband’ has a stalker who not only pretends to be expert in precisely the same fields…er meadows… as her husband, but also was SO devoted a stalker that he/she moved to Aberdeen IIRC (as evidenced by the IP address ‘Camestros’ used then) at the same time as Toby. And then, as evidenced by the IP address, moved back to Brisbane… at the same time as Toby. But wait. There’s more… And lives in the same town, claims to be a fan and somehow – in the tiny pond of Brissy sf fans never knew of her or hubby – among its leading lights. And of course she really does own the Sydney Harbour bridge she’s also trying to sell you” [empahsis added]

    I thought this was an odd thing for Dave to say at the time as he appeared to be engaging in more than self-delusion at this point but rather active deception of his audience. Cashing rhetorical cheques he couldn’t pay. However, as I didn’t know when the Meadows family had moved it was hard to point out the discrepancy.

    Dave has since repeated variations on the claim that he KNOWS I was in Aberdeen in his more recent post I won’t quote all the instances, just search the page for “Aberdeen”.

    So, Dave has elevated this to a central piece of evidence. Arguably, there are ways of masking IP geolocation via VPN or special browsers, but Dave is clear that this isn’t what has happened – he is claiming that when the Meadows family was in Aberdeen *I* was posting from Aberdeen. If that is NOT true then Dave has been making a false claim to his friends and allies.

    If Dave has been making false claims about this then, a reasonable person should doubt all the other unsupported claims he has been making.

    Dave is making false claims. In fact, his claims were inadvertently blown out of the water days ago by a supporter of Sad Puppies and a regular commenter at Mad Genius known as ‘Kama’.

    In the comment section of Lou Antonelli’s blog, he reveals an IP address of a comment I had posted “two years ago” on his blog. Now, he probably shouldn’t have done that but he did and that particular IP piece of my personal information has been sitting there for some days. That address resolves to Sydney or New South Wales (depending on the geolocator you use). It doesn’t point to Brisbane and it certainly doesn’t point to Aberdeen, Scotland.

    On Twitter, Foz Meadows pointed this out DAYS ago. Let that sink in. Foz Meadows has already pointed out to the people pushing this nonsense that THEIR side has already released evidence on Lou Antonelli’s blog that two years ago I was posting from Sydney or at the very least New South Wales – when Dave claims I was in Aberdeen. Dave has continued to make this claim, indeed stridently demand that others give him names of people who could be me on the basis of them being in Aberdeen!

    Well, I guess they could rationalise one comment away in their heads or (more likely) just ignored what Foz Meadows wrote. The capacity for Dave and his cheerleaders to ignore inconvenient facts is substantial. Now, prior to this flap obviously I was unaware of what kinds of movements the Meadows family may have made and indeed, in my early postings on this nonsense I didn’t even want to use their name because that was just another messed-up way Dave and Lou and Brad used to make other complicit in their abuse. I also didn’t want to start fact-checking the Meadows’s movements because that itself is messed-up stalkerish behaviour and Foz Meadows deserved to be believed up front and also…obviously I already knew that I wasn’t Toby Meadows. However, given that information is publically available and others have already been out hunting for some tell-tale sign that Toby M is me (and come back with nothing other than he talks about logic a lot – but not all the other stuff I talk about) I have done a minimum.

    So some facts.

    • The Meadows were in Aberdeen in the section of 2015 that I was blogging and not in Australia or Sydney.
    • The conferences Toby Meadows attended during 2015 are on his site and they weren’t in Australia.
    • Toby Meadows can’t be in two places at once.
    • Dave Freer has asserted that my movements follow Toby Meadows’s movements and that I was in Aberdeen when he was.
    • I did post in various puppy blogs in 2015 including Mad Genius Club and Brad Torgersen’s blog. I did not do so from Aberdeen because…
    • I’ve never been to Aberdeen.

    The last point is hard to check obviously.

    What I can do is show posts from me not posting from Aberdeen in 2015. Here’s one, as a GIF – it may take awhile to load.


    I picked this one because it is exactly the same IP address as Kama already made public. Checking back I have other messages where the IP address is similar but a bit different. They also locate as New South Wales, not Brisbane or Queensland and *definitely* not Aberdeen. I have no comments on my blog* that ever that come from Aberdeen, and therefore NONE from 2015 that come from Aberdeen.

    Both Brad and Dave have claimed that I am Toby Meadows BECAUSE, among some other weaker reasons, that they tracked IP addresses. They both have access to my comments and they both have WordPress blogs and can see the IP addresses I’ve used. So either:

    • They haven’t actually checked to see if I posted messages from Aberdeen in 2015 – in which case why are they saying that I did?
    • They HAVE checked and KNOW that I didn’t post messages from Aberdeen – in which case their pants are even more on fire than with the previous point.
    • Some third thing? I mean, I’m not omniscient so maybe somebody messed up a check somewhere or confused a message from a genuine denizen of Aberdeen or who knows. In this case, maybe they are just really, really, really just not very good at anything.

    Should they reveal IP addresses? No, that is not only a dick move but might get them into hot water and then they’d be all ‘poor me I’m being oppressed because I did something possibly illegal and definitely stupid’. However, if either of them believes they have a SPECIFIC comment from ME (ie Camestros Felapton posting as Camestros Felapton) that has an IP address that they have CONFIRMED is from ABERDEEN or at the very least SCOTLAND in 2015 then what the heck: post a link to the comment and the conversation can proceed as to the specific truth of that evidence. Or, you know, they could show some integrity and honour and admit that they were wrong.

    If not…well most of know what we already knew. Their issue has never been about the truth but about some sad men with some kind of emotional issue that I really don’t understand who wanted to take out their frustrations on a genderqueer blogger because an unrelated man challenged what they said.

    *[I assume no comments ever anywhere but obviously that’s uncheckable]

    [ETA] Just adding this for completeness

    Hoyt flips out at one of her regular commenters after mistaking them for somebody else (sometimes WordPress uses ‘Array’ as a deafult user name)

    ” He and I have discussed it (YES, Dave had enough info, I had same info and had independently figured it out YEARS GO) and Dave said he wouldn’t blow his cover. Lou Antonelli says Dave -_ WHO DIDN’T KNOW LOU THAT WELL — was not his source.”


    Book Promo

    I don’t usually do book promotions (except inept ones for the cat) but I did just buy a couple of books and hey, it might be nice if others bought them as well.

    This fantasy tale looks like the start of an interesting series:

    And it has a sequel!


    On a different note, I was asked what other ways could readers help ensure that writers get paid? Good question made up voice asking me questions to provide appropriate prompts to answers! One way is a thing called a Patreon – essentially a way of providing a small but steady flow of money to writers.

    Here is an example of a Patreon:

    Looks like a worthwhile place to spend your money.

    Dave’s little list

    OK, it maybe Victorian cultural appropriation but time for a bit of light comic opera from Gilbert and Sullivan:

    As some day it may happen that a victim must be found
    I’ve got a little list — I’ve got a little list
    Of society offenders who might well be underground
    And who never would be missed — who never would be missed!
    There’s the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs —
    All people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs —
    All children who are up in dates, and floor you with ’em flat —
    All persons who in shaking hands, shake hands with you like that —
    And all third persons who on spoiling tête-á-têtes insist —
    They’d none of ’em be missed — they’d none of ’em be missed!

    He’s got ’em on the list — he’s got ’em on the list;
    And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed

    Still on Dave Freer. In comments at Mad Genius, Dave has been demanding of sceptics of his theory to list others.

    I’ll happily consider it IF you come up with set possible alternatives, who fit in ALL of the following subsets, all from Camestros statements or obvious corrolaries (such as for example spending thousands of hours of what has to be work time at times on fandom, sf, hugos, basically requires that the person should be interested in the same) Subset 1) Be an Australian Academic working in academia. 2)From that subset demonstrate a respectable working knowledge and use of Maths, AND Philosophy. 3)Of that now relatively small sample be an ardent follower (or have good reason to be an ardent follower) of sf/fantasy fandom particularly the Hugos – a good reason for example might be having your wife as potential winner. 4) Of that subset – which is by now very small if not down to one — have been in the UK (in Aberdeen) just when the record shows that Toby was and 5)Of that subset having moved back just when both Toby did and Camestros posted about doing. And 6)As both parties claim not to know or have met each other, within the tiny tiny world academics in the same arena, and indeed town, and fandom which is not huge in Oz – for some reason, to never to have attended the same faculty meeting, co-operated on papers, or have attended the same conferences. Come up with a list – perfectly possible to try and do, requiring no genius, just legwork and patience – the records are all public – and I’ll certainly entertain the idea that it could be someone else. But I think you’re going to find it is a short list of one. (sigh)

    Dave overestimates the time I spend on things but hey, obviously he is impressed by the quality. On to the list:

      1. “Be an Australian Academic working in academia.” I’m not an academic working in academia. Dave just literally crossed me off his list. I cannot be me. I am an Australian citizen but as regular readers here know – I’m actually British.
      2. “A working knowledge of maths and philosophy” OK granted I have that but not at a PhD level. The technical term is ‘a smart arse’ – I thought that was obvious.
      3. “be an ardent follower) of sf/fantasy fandom particularly the Hugos ” The venn diagram of “likes maths & philosophy” with “likes SF/ speculative fiction” isn’t quite a circle but its close…As for the Hugos, the thing that made me ARDENT rather than just interested was…the Sad Puppy campaign.
      4. “have been in the UK (in Aberdeen) just when the record shows that Toby was” – never been to Aberdeen. Haven’t been to Scotland this century. Moved to Australia some years ago.
      5. “having moved back just when both Toby did and Camestros posted about doing” – the timing was Brexit and it was a joke about people saying they were going to leave Britain and move to Australia. The joke was that I already moved to Australia not that I had just or recently moved. Here’s me drinking an Australian beer, in an Australian pub in…note…an Australian (NSW) beer glass in 2015
        And here I am again in sunny Aberdeen…I mean…China in 2015
        Now true, I drink a lot of beer from a lot of places (including Scotland) in a lot of places (not Scotland though – not for a longgg time and frankly Glasgow is a bit of a blur). So not a great argument but then good enough to counter balance my Brexit sarcasm as evidence that I’m mirroring somebody’s movement. An astute observer will note many Australian beers in my consumption.
        Oh heck here’s me drinking a British beer in London just before Brexit (confused yet?) but how! There are a thing called “airplanes”- I don’t like them but my capitalist bosses make me go places in them! So, I’m in Australia and China when I’m supposed to be in Aberdeen and in London when I’m supposed to be in Australia? How’s that supposed to work? I’ve been living in Australia for a many years – I do travel to other places from time to time when work makes me but not to Aberdeen. Never to Aberdeen. Aberdeen is forbidden to me by an ancient spell of interdiction. One day Aberdeen – you know what you did and that old hermit’s spell won’t last forever.
      6. Oh dear, look at point 1 again. I need so need a GIF of Good Place Janet saying “Not an academic”. I mean I’ve talked to people at Universities and things but not regularly and about my actual work which isn’t being an academic. Don’t get me wrong, it would be a good gig and I’d be the BEST at lecturing.

    So here is a revised list:

    1. British
    2. Travels
    3. Drinks a lot of beer
    4. A smart arse



    Two Posts Relevant to the Freer Piece

    Jim C Hines has answered Dave Freer’s post here:

    Foz Meadows has written a very moving piece here:

    There’s a core issue here. Dave Freer appears to literally be unable to imagine the various people he is attacking now as human beings. The people applauding his honesty at Mad Genius, when a simple 2 minute Google search would reveal some of his assertion are demonstrable lies, are actively hiding from truth.


    An Open Letter to Dave Freer

    My previous attempts to explain this don’t seem to have sunk in yet, so let me say it again. I am not in anyway that I am aware of related to, married to, employed by or have ever even met Foz Meadows or Toby Meadows. All I know of them is what I’ve read on Foz Meadows blog in the past and information that has been publically shared in the past week. Don’t know them, haven’t met them. They seem like nice people but then I tend to think that about most people. Heck, I even thought you were just somebody having a hard time thinking clearly rather than actively nasty.

    Yes, I *get* that you feel angry when somebody challenges what you say. That is natural. A healthy response is not to try and find desperate ways to make that other person feel angry. It genuinely is not good for you in terms of your own well being.

    Directing those kinds of attacks at the WRONG person? I think even with your less than stellar reasoning powers should be able to see that is less than wise.

    I won’t address much of what you wrote other than to say that it does you no favours. You seem now to have fully transferred your previous anger towards me onto the Meadows family. Foz Meadows is a better and more articulate writer than I and she has strong clear-headed friends. I don’t believe she needs me to fight her battles but it saddens me that you have decided to malign her and her family because I critiqued your arguments (in a way that even you acknowledge at least appeared to be polite).

    However, there are a small number of elements in your post that do pertain to me which I’d like to point out.

    “If I had wanted to break his anonymity, I’d do it.” – as I pointed out in my previous post I don’t know who set-up Lou Antonelli.

    “I doubt it was either Dave Freer or Richard Paolinelli, despite their names being associated with this whole flap. Dave is too subtle (he’d rather have continued to make dark mutterings for longer) and Paolinelli is the exact opposite (he’d have just announced it himself if he had thought it was worth saying).”

    “So: the question was asked as to why Fieldsy was so frantic to deny. After all, it would make him a hero among puppy kickers.” – I was ‘frantic’ to deny a false claim because:

    • it was false
    • it was clear that the Meadows family would be (at a minimum) threatened and verbally attacked. As you know, that did occur – indeed you were the source of one of the verbal attacks with your lurid speculation.

    It is interesting that you see it as a flaw in my character to deny a false claim and to be concerned for others. I do not see those as flaws and I do not know why you do.

    As for making me “a hero among puppy kickers” – it is true that public attention to this blog and my other writing has increased, as has my public profile. So, yes you are literally helping my reputation with this. Even so, I would rather you stop not only for the Meadows’ sake but for your own. I don’t believe in a supernatural soul per-se but I do believe that malicious actions hurt the person who perpetrates them in a personal way. At a minimum you are eventually going to feel very silly and not a good ‘silly’ either but rather the bad silly – the silly where you have unwittingly made a fool of yourself.

    “It doesn’t help that Fieldsy went on the offensive against the book about one of MZB and Breen’s child victims” – I can only guess you mean Moira Greyland’s book ‘The Last Closet’ – I haven’t gone on any offensive with regard to her book. I haven’t read the book or reviewed it. I discussed her essay that was nominated for a Hugo in 2016. I assume you are thinking of somebody else. Given the confusion you are having with my identity it is possible that you may think I am yet some other person. I don’t know. However, I would suggest that if you wish to be known as a truthful person it may help you if you speak truthly. I have always found that helps me.

    “addressing him as ‘Fieldsy’ (his name is Meadows) and having his endless turgid flow suddenly vanish along with him” – this seems like odd behaviour. I explained to you in 2016 that if you did not wish for me to comment at Mad Genius Club all you had to do was ask. Engaging in a complex “logic puzzle” and inventing a name strikes me as an impractical solution to a problem.

    On to this piece:

    “I’ll give another bit of advice to Fieldsy and Foz. When you’re in a hole, stop digging. There’s a lot of worse that I don’t think you’ve thought of that you could bring down on yourselves – and not from me. Nothing to do with me. At moment you could walk away with a bit of bruising and 10 years down the track everyone will have forgotten. Keep going and that stops being true. I don’t think you’ve thought of these things because you’re not very logical and not a quarter as bright as you think you are. I’d rather not spell them out in case you start blaming me when they do happen.”

    I’m sorry but despite the caveats that certainly reads like a threat. Even give the most favourable reading of it sounds very much like you are saying OTHERS in the wider circle of the right wing science fiction/fantasy writer will attempt to silence myself (and Foz Meadows) if we “keep going”. Taking the reading that does you the most favours (i.e. a genuine warning) implies the people I discuss are the kinds of people who will attempt to silence their critics.

    As an argument against my continued pseudonomity somebody saying something akin to ‘shut up or somebody will make you’ is a very, very poor one. However, sadly, here I think you are being more honest. You know what your allies are like, perhaps better than I and you characterise them aptly there. Yet this is also a continued reason to stay vocal – I already knew there are bullies out there. In the long run it is best not to be silent in the face of them but also to be cautious.

    You let the cat out of the bag later on, although you reverse the players: ” if you can stop people saying what they think, you can convince them they’re isolated and possibly wrong. ” Yet here you are – angry at people saying what they think and muttering ominous warnings against them for doing so.

    Anyway, in the unlikely event that you have read this far I will reiterate the core points. Whatever you may think of me please be aware that your current actions harm others more than they do me. Yes, I find the spectacle upsetting but truly, I am more of involuntary spectator than a participant.