A Chronicle of Outrage Marketing Part 4: The Legend Grows

As this is part four, a short recap. Baen published an anthology with the theme of Daves. A handful of people said ‘huh?’. Nick Mamatas made a pointed observation about affirmadave action and Baen editor Christopher Ruocchio posted many tweets as a consequence. Larry Correia joined in. Bounding into Comics joined in. Dave Freer joined in. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

The other day I said that “I’m keen to watch this unfold because it is the sort of thing that in a years time will have transmogrified and become part of Puppy-lore i.e. that time the whole of liberal/SJW/antifa/Bernie Sanders formed a giant army to destroy the careers of every writer ever called Dave, or some such.”

A key part of this process is to grow the legend and cement the story of victory. To see this we have to wander into Facebook.

First of all over to Christopher Ruocchio who has some positive sales news for the flock of Daves.

“Well, the near vertical, 700,000-place jump in the Amazon ebook rankings for the title in question you see here coincides with the day he announced the book was cancelled.”

The minor criticism has now been elevated to Nick M announcing that the Dave anthology had been cancelled! There is a circular kind of negation here. If Nick M really has helped the anthology then there was no need to be cross with Nick M but then if Chris Ruocchio hadn’t been cross etc. The key takeaway, apparently the jump in sales wasn’t due to how great the stories were (at least if Chris R is to be believed).

Still, that is only a mild bit of hyperbole. What we need is the Roucchio v mildly bemused Mamatas exchange to be raised up to fantasy epic proportions and for that you need Larry Correia [archive link].

” However, SJWs, led by a particular dumb motherfucker named Nick Mamatas (a super bitter puppy kicker) got all outraged, because “diversity” and apparently having a book of all Daves wasn’t “inclusive” (well no shit, sherlock) and this was a super huge OUTRAGE! “

The ‘outrage’ remember was a Brittany Speers gif.

“Now, normally cancel culture just steam rolls publishers, because its a business filled with cry babies and wimps. However, this publisher is Baen, who don’t care, and the guy running their social media is a Chestertonian bad ass, who told Mamatas to get bent. “

Brave Baen valiantly defended from the one slightly snarky Tweet and a Brittany Speers by the noble defended of truth and justice.

“And also, where were you assholes when we did an anthology that was all female to show that women have always been part of sci-fi? (they totally ignored that one because it didn’t fit their narrative of perpetual victimhood). “

What Larry’s logic here is unclear. Was he hoping that mythical SJWs would attack that previous anthology so it would boost sales or was he saying the SJWs should have supported the anthology, which, in Larry’s logic would have reduced sales? I’m not sure but he does raise a good question: where were you?

The anthology in question was Women of Futures Past (2016) edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (https://www.baen.com/women-of-futures-past.html ). You can read all about it at this wonderful science fiction fanzine I often visit: http://file770.com/collected-classic-sf-by-women/ That post had over a hundred comments by the way.

But you know which website you CAN’T read about it? Oh, did you guess “Monster Hunter Nation”? Because you are right!

Yeah but maybe he promoted it on Facebook:

Apparently not! I can’t imagine what was so different about the Baen anthology about Women and the Baen anthology about Daves…

Meanwhile:

“But see that great big spike on the graph there? That is what happens when creators actually stand up for themselves and fight back against the SJW lynch mobs.”

Not just a mob now but a “lynch mob”, armed to the teeth with rolling eye emojis and snark.

A Chronicle of Outrage Marketing Part 3

Well it has been awhile since I went through a Dave Freer post at Mad Genius club but here we are. Monday is Dave’s day at the rostrum and so inevitably we have a post about how mean Nick Mamatas was to him. https://madgeniusclub.com/2019/10/21/mayflies/

“You know, he does have one thing going for him: IMAX level projection. I’ve heard LOTS of attacks on Anthos for NOT having women, or whatever. The opposite, excluding men, or white males, or heterosexual males… abounds. There are hundreds of them CELEBRATING excluding a large part of the human race, often as their theme. I’m amused that Matamas assumes the gender of Daves. I thought that was a deadly sin, punishable by a thousand hysterical twitter shrieks? And as for ‘POC’, that’s another assumption… as ‘David’ is a very common name in much of Africa.”

Except, of course, no assumption needed to be made as 1. the actual list of authors was listed in his post and 2. the point still stands even if some of the authors had been women called Dave (they aren’t).

“I honestly don’t care. If you want to have a ‘POC’ Anthology, or a one-legged lesbians who identify as pork pies on alternate Thursdays Anthology – go right ahead. Of course that means that – if you were going to be fair, stopping endless whining about having women or POC or alphabet soup on every anthology’s ToC, unless they’re exclusive to the same people who now demand inclusion. But it’s different when they do it. Shrug. The sales will sort it out.”

Except Dave manifestly DOES care and we have now years of moaning against inclusivity and diversity from Dave e.g. https://madgeniusclub.com/2018/05/21/a-fair-go/ or https://madgeniusclub.com/2013/11/11/passing-through-the-fire-to-molech/ ,that second one is interesting given Dave’s arguments about demographics at other times, such as https://madgeniusclub.com/2018/08/06/pie/ .

“But I DO want good stories. Partly because I like to read them, and partly because good stories build an audience – which benefits everyone in the field. I’m mildly bemused by the sort of logic that concludes that having a very common first name (meaning the possible pool of authors (and readers) is way larger than most of the other ‘exclusive’ collections) and headlined by three legendary authors… cannot select ‘good stories’? “

That wasn’t an assumption made in Nick M’s Tweet either. It is an assumption Dave has made and one that other Sad Puppies have asserted i.e. that increased representation of women in awards or in publishing represents a decline in the quality of stories. The quality of the stories in the anthology did arise in a later Tweet but not based on assumption but on a less than glowing review: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4814-8426-8

The stream of consciousness stuff carries on from there and concludes with:

“The zeitgeist has moved, and they haven’t. That’s fairly obvious in everything from Gamergate to Sad Puppies, from Brexit, to President Trump to the Hong Kong protests. They don’t all win – but they were unthinkable at all 10 years back. More is coming. Zeitgeist doesn’t, most of the time, move fast, but it’s like a heavy freight train on a downgrade. The only thing that will stop it is a long up-slope (economic in this case IMO, with lots more money.)”

So one failed toxic harassment campaign, a failed award hijack, an unholy political mess that three years in still hasn’t happened, and a notoriously corrupt & incompetent president. Lumping the Hong Kong protestors in there looks more like an insult to the brave people of Hong Kong.

Now note what is missing in the post.

The stories.

Specificaly what’s good about them or why we should read them (other than that some of the authors make a living writing). If the stories rather than the politics is what is paramount, you have to wonder why so often Dave falls back on the politics.

To be fair to Dave, he did have an earlier post promoting the anthology back in August: https://madgeniusclub.com/2019/08/12/25740/ I’m not going to pick holes in that particularly, and I ignored it at the time. The tone then makes sense, it’s just a novelty anthology with a silly premise but…you really then can’t start claiming that it is the intrinsic quality of the story that makes a “Dave” anthology a wonderful idea after literally years of moaning about “affirmative action” in publishing. Or rather you can do that but not with any consistency or integrity. As he pointed out at the time: “Honestly the only way I get into that kind of company is by having my maternal grandfather and my great uncle’s names.” Which reminds me of a different Dave Freer quote:

“I’d like believe in his future, where individuals matter, and people are judged on their merits, and not on superficial characteristics.

https://madgeniusclub.com/2015/02/16/i-love-my-job/

A typology of some online Trump supporters

A non-exhaustive typology of online Trump supporters

Back when Donald Trump was first nominated as the Republican Presidential candidate and then went on to win the Presidency, I realised I had an unusual group to examine. Having spent time following the travails of a right wing insurgent group within science fiction fandom, I had already researched a kind of ersatz focus group to see how the winds of political fortune might shift or remain steady over the following years. A set of individuals with marginally different ideologies, different levels of commitment to Donald Trump but also with a prolictivity to state their opinion of the day at great length (if not always with great clarity).

The problem with using the notable Sad and Rabid Puppies as political weather gauges is that there will be groups not represented within their numbers. For example, I don’t think there is any one who is a basic core Trump supporter — i.e. somebody who without hint of irony, just found Trump appealing from the get go. I assume such people exist based on polls and other studies but I don’t think they have a clear representation in the group I’m looking at.

At this stage, I just want to introduce a terminology rather than to cite examples. The key factors are antipathy to the left, antipathy to the Republican Party establishment, self-perception of being a libertarian and emotional commitment to Trump. I’ve ranked them from the most publicly supportive of Trump to the least.

One: Ironic Cheerleaders
This group are most likely to share Trump memes, refer to him as God-Emperor and ideologically are Alt-Right. They typically have extreme views on immigration and embrace misogyny and/or white nationalism. The support of Trump is loud but rarely with substance. They like it when Trump is vulgar and they like it when he upsets the conservative establishment. They really have very little interest in any policies other than hard line anti-immigration policies and withdrawal of US forces from extended conflicts in the Middle-East. They may actually be supportive of some left policies such as student loan forgiveness. They may be former libertarians but are no longer committed to libertarian policies and rhetoric or identify as libertarian. They are more inclined to tie their religion to their politics.

However, their support for Trump is based very much on Trump winning and doing wild shit. For them he is the Commander-in-Chief of internet trolling. Whatever their real emotional commitment to Trump may be, their public commitment has typically been framed with irony and an implication that they are joking. Ironically the irony is itself ironic and the nature of the discourse they have established with each other means they themselves are often unclear as to which ideas they are deeply committed to and which ones were just meant as a joke. If/when Trump falls out of power, the range of reaction from this group will be multifold, from a shrug of the shoulders that it had all been a giant prank to potentially violent denial. So far the only really upsetting thing Trump has done in their eyes is to suggest video-games may have a role in gun violence.

Two: Reluctant converts
This group were opposed to Trump during the Republican nomination process. They may have preferred Ted Cruz or Rand Paul as nominees. They are more likely to still identify as libertarian and would vehemently oppose a policy like student loan forgiveness. After Trump was nominated they shifted position to supporting him. Since then Trump has not revealed himself to be a secret Democrat mole and they feel a lot more comfortable in publicly supporting him. That commitment has become more sincere over time and it would take a lot to shake it. They have not been concerned by Trump’s tariff policy or trade war rhetoric. They actively applaud the tough line on immigration but still frame issues in terms of “legal v illegal”. They strongly believe that voter fraud is a major issue and that Democrats have much less support than opinion polls and elections suggest.

Their support for Trump would be very hard to shake. Major tax increases, student loan reform or gun control might shift their position. They are vehemently anti-left and anti-liberal. They feel besieged and that Trump is beleaguered by the same conspiratorial forces that are beleaguering them. If/when Trump falls out of power, they will be discombobulated. They will fall back to their original opinion of him (and they still preface their support with a token expression of his faults) but they will also maintain a strong stab-in-the-back mythology about Trump i.e. he was betrayed by the deep state etc. They aren’t QAnon cultists per-se (that’s more the first group) but they are fertile ground for believing conspiracy theories. If Trump was ousted they would be happy with Mike Pence.

Three: Sceptical advocates
Woe betide you if you ever suggest one of these is a Trump supporter! They will proudly state that they didn’t vote for him or if they did that it was only to save America from Hillary Clinton. This group is anti-anti-Trump rather than pro-Trump even though they are rarely if ever critical of him. Their main policy beliefs are gun rights and military funding. They are ambiguous about support for US military intervention overseas but supportive of an expanded military. They are anti-PC, anti-SJW. If they are religious it is not that central to their public beliefs. Despite nominally being not for Trump, they will make a show of attacking those attacking Trump and sometimes praise Trump for something but add the word “grudgingly” near the start.

They will be critical of Trump if he says something that sounds too anti-business or anti-gun. Their major fear when Trump was nominated was that he would help Hillary Clinton win. The same issue still exists: if it looks like Trump’s behaviour advantages the Democrats they will want him gone. They don’t really understand how Trump won in the first place and that currently makes them a little fearful of being too anti-Trump. If they didn’t vote for Trump they feel a bit embarrassed by that. Once Trump looks politically wounded, they’ll want him gone as quickly as possible. If Trump was ousted they also would be happy with Mike Pence.


Roughly speaking, there is an overlap in age and backgrounds but I believe that group one is on average younger than the others and group two is older.

How individuals will react if Trump is pushed out or impeached & prosecuted will vary. For some, both in the alt-right and more traditionally libertarian, they may be very loud about the situation but more quietly happy to be in opposition. Like some people on the left, it can be emotionally and cognitively simpler to be out of power, particularly as if you prefer the aesthetics of being the rebel-alliance rather than the empire. Others will be more deeply discombobulated and I don’t think it will be easy to guess who will be which.

If Trump blusters his way through impeachment, he will get support from all three groups at the next election but group three will cast their support as not-really-supporting-Trump-just-that-Democrats-are-worse. Functionally this anti-Democrat position rather than pro-Trump position won’t be substantially different in the details.

Using My Time Machine to Fix Right Wing Views on Climate

Ha! Tricked you all! This is a post about Larry Correia again! Larry has suddenly decided that he is really into more literary science-fiction and is making an assertive defence of Dan Simmons.

Simmons (an author whose books I do actively seek out) went off an a bit of anti-Greta Thunberg thung on Facebook. Many people objected. There was a post at File 770 about it: http://file770.com/dan-simmons-criticized-for-remarks-about-thunberg/

Larry, who has made a point of stating how he nor very few other people read File 770 apparently read the post and was unhappy with people being unhappy with Simmons and discovered that he is a big fan of Simmons. Is it their mutual love of John Keats or the their shared interest in Proust? Larry doesn’t say. He does claim that File 770’s post critical of Simmons led to Simmon’s novel Hyperion being “number one” on Amazon.

However, I want to focus on a particular criticism of Greta Thunberg that I’ve seen from Simmons, Correia, and other right wing science fiction writers:

“Oh yeah, and it’s the ultimate Motte and Bailey play, because they can put an uneducated teenager with no scientific creds at all in front of one of the biggest government bodies in the world to demand socialism now or else, and when you go LOL WUT they switch to We Just Want A Clean Environment Why Do You Hate Children. It’s total bullshit.”

OK, there’s a germ of a point there – after all Greta Thunberg isn’t a climate scientist. How about instead of a school kid they got the most relevant and credentialed scientists up there instead! [Yes, we will ignore that Thunberg was speaking at a youth conference with multiple amazing young people trying to make their world a better place https://www.insider.com/greta-thunberg-activists-climate-change-who-are-they-2019-9 ]

OK but I can fix that with my time machine. Clearly what these authors need to see is not kids but scientists. Show them authoritative people, who know their stuff and the whole “no scientific creds” issue is dealt with. Yet, it’s no good doing it now when the warming is already substantial. I need to CHANGE THE PAST! Instead of scolding these guys they want hard science and reason and they need it years ago!

OK – to my time machine! I’ll be right back!

[weird groaning noises as if a Tardis is dematerialising and then rematerialising which are then revealed to be a fat cat snoring…]

Phew! Fixed it! I’ve changed the timeline! I went all the way back to 1988! Hopefully enough time to change everybody’s mind! Instead of scolding people I changed the past so the UN got together an international panel on climate change with experts from around the world! If you check Wikipedia you can now see in our new timeline an entry on the IPCC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change

What’s that you say? My new amazing timeline with the UN promoting highly credentialed scientists to explain the detailed science of climate change for the past 30 odd years is EXACTLY the same? But, but, that’s not possible! For that to be true it would almost have to be that these conservatives never gave two shits about the science and where just moaning about credentials because Greta Thunberg was actually making a difference and got climate change and global warming back into the headlines!

You haven’t mentioned Larry Correia in a couple of days…

This is true but he is still ranting. According to Larry he has been banned from posting on Facebook again and he is very cross about the fact that a company that provides him a free service enforces its own terms and conditions. Here’s a link but I seriously wouldn’t bother: http://monsterhunternation.com/2019/09/23/another-example-of-why-facebook-is-the-abusive-trailer-park-husband-of-the-internet/

Larry is utterly convinced that outside forces are behind his temporary time-out, specifically File 770 people. His cited reason for this was an obvious joke comment in an August 14 Pixel Scroll http://file770.com/pixel-scroll-8-14-19-i-pixel-things-that-never-were-and-i-scroll-why-not/#comment-1035317

“Robert Whitaker Sirignano on August 15, 2019 at 9:09 am said:
My imaginary friends were insulted by Larry C. So I complained on their behalf. “

The comment was a joke about how Larry had been given a time-out by Facebook because of his use of inflammatory language about an imaginary country. Weirdly, Larry blames that ban on bots:

“A month after I posted that comment above, I caught my first Facebook ban for hate speech, My crime? Pretending to be from one imaginary country of proud (but genocidal) sandwich makers, and insulting another imaginary country.  http://monsterhunternation.com/2019/08/13/another-example-why-facebook-is-super-dumb/ It was obviously the stupid Facebook bots, but my fans had a lot of fun with it.”

But cites the screenshot as evidence that it is active malice getting him banned now:

“Because that one wasn’t bots with dumb code, that was a bunch of prog scumbags realizing that if they report my posts to Facebook, I just get auto blocked. We’ve even got screen shots of them bragging about it.”

The really weird thing is that it would be fairly easy for Larry to avoid most of the bans he is complaining about. As far as I can see, the ‘bans’ are more limitations on how much he can post due to 1. the kinds of comments his posts attract and which are often content free but a proportion of which use violent, weirdly sexual or sexually violent terms and 2. specific harassment campaigns. So far he has cited zero examples of him getting a time-out for his actual politics and his posts on Facebook are rarely* getting removed (even quite verbally abusive ones). It’s actually amazing how much latitude Facebook gives him.

Larry is also complaining that Facebook never bans leftists. This is not true of course. His comrades had me banned from Facebook — not unjustly because I’d also violated the Facebook terms of service by using a name that I can’t back with real world ID (Camestros Felapton). During their Fieldsy caper, assorted Sad Puppy sympathisers apparently complained to Facebook and my account was blocked. I’m not moaning about that, the impact on me was close to zero, just pointing out that while Larry imagines flocks of progressives combing Facebook banning conservatives, we know of actual cases of his supporters doing exactly that to people on the left.

Unlike myself, Larry is suffering some apparent hardship from temporary Facebook bans. He has used Facebook to help drive sales and to organise fans and he’s now frustrated because of fairly minor measures Facebook have enacted. As far as I can tell it is mainly the name calling in his posts and violent imagery in comments but getting his point across without those is way too hard for Larry. A professional writer who can’t outwit some very not-bright Facebook bots? Good grief.

*[I think, I’m going off Larry’s own statements. Perhaps lots of posts his have been vanished but that doesn’t match his own complaints.]

Authors behaving badly: Episode# 1,234,543 Richard Fox

I won’t add much commentary but if you haven’t already read Mike Glyer’s piece on Richard Fox’s poor behaviour: http://file770.com/perjury-not-piracy-is-the-problem/

For earlier context see:

https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/next-few-days-are-nebula-shorts-days/

https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/nebula-shorts-going-dark-by-richard-fox/

https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/its-worth-talking-about-lmbpn-publishing-when-talking-about-the-nebula-nominees/

I know that Mike Glyer takes book piracy seriously and I know that I do. Fake DMCA notices, as well as being an increase in hostile tactics deployed by supporters of Larry Correia, undermine author’s capacity to tackle piracy with genuine complaints.

Dave Freer has lost it again

OK, obviously I already have a strong reasons to doubt Dave’s reasoning and comprehension skills but I didn’t expect him to pitch so strongly for the “Worst Take on the Campbell Award Name Change” award. Prepare yourselves for some what-the-whatting-what? reactions to this:

“it is… wryly funny that Ng, who plainly believes that all members of any group are alike as two peas in a pod and merely express the character defined by their skin color, sex or ethnicity, rather than being individuals… is Chinese. Her viewpoint therefore defines the Chinese as a group, all guilty of the sins of any other Chinese. Hmm. Think about it: Are the Chinese known for ‘Imperialism and colonizing, being settlers and industrialists, ever. Heaven forfend such a thought… Tibet? The Paracels? Shenzen industries, etc. Or having a vast male bias reflected in the numbers of girl children aborted in favor of boys – leading to a sex imbalance of millions. No pot calling a kettle names here…”

https://madgeniusclub.com/2019/09/02/the-value-of-name/ [archive link]

Dave is finding it ironic hat somebody born in Hong Kong is criticising a specific person (with well documented views) because the Chinese government does bad things? The same Chinese government that she very bravely criticised in the very same speech Dave is whining about?