IN DEFENSE OF THE SAD PUPPIES

I’ve been traveling a lot for the past few weeks, so my ability to respond to comments made here is intermittent. One of the comments that was put up on my web site while I was gone lately was a long one by Brad Torgersen. Because of Brad’s prominence in the debate over the Hugo Awards, I think it’s incumbent on me to respond to him. 

Before I can do that, however, something else has to be dealt with first. One of the main points I’ve been trying to make, partly in the hope that I can persuade the Sad Puppies to change their minds, is that while scurrilous attacks have been made on them those attacks have come from people who have no real power or influence in the science fiction and fantasy community.

Unfortunately, there’s a reliable old quip, variously attributed to Voltaire and Maréchal Villars: Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies. With the modification that I don’t consider the Sad Puppies to be “enemies” but simply opponents in the current wrangle over the Hugos, the quip has found a home again.

While I was attending SFWA’s Nebula Awards weekend, the following statement was made on her Facebook page by Irene Gallo in response to a question. (The question was “what are the Sad Puppies”?)

There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies respectively, that are calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy. They are unrepentantly racist, sexist and homophobic. A noisy few but they’ve been able to gather some Gamergate folks around them and elect a slate of bad-to-reprehensible works on this year’s Hugo ballot.”

When it comes to sheer, breath-taking dishonesty and just plain silliness, this statement is far worse than any of the ones cited by James May which I dealt with in previous essay. (Most of which were either perfectly fine or, at worst, one-sided.) But what makes the statement noteworthy is that Irene Gallo is not simply a loudmouth on the internet with a tenuous grasp of political logic and apparently no grasp at all of common decency. She is also the Art Director for Tor/Forge Books, which is by far the largest publisher in F&SF. In short, someone who has a genuinely important and influential position in the field.

Before I address the comment itself, I need to make one thing absolutely clear. Whatever her position at Tor, Irene Gallo has the same right to free speech that any American citizen has (as well as the citizens of many other countries, of course). Still, rights are one thing—good judgment is something else again. And it’s her judgment that’s at issue here.

Let me start with the opening half of her first sentence:

There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies respectively…”

Words matter—something you’d expect any professional in publishing to understand, even if their specialty is art work. Calling someone “extreme right-wing” when you immediately tie that to “neo-nazi” is disingenuous at best. The transparently obvious purpose is to blend “extreme right-wing” with “neo-nazi” in the minds of the readers. The problem is that terms like “extreme” and “right-wing” are inherently vague and the one term in the sentence that is not vague—“neo-nazi”—is wildly inappropriate.

It’s not even appropriate applied to the Rabid Puppies. The two most prominent figures in that group are Theodore Beale (“Vox Day”) and the author John C. Wright. I have been severely critical of Wright and will continue to be, but I have seen no evidence that he either belongs to, is affiliated with, or even has any significant relations with any member of a neo-Nazi organization. The situation with Beale is perhaps murkier, because some of his statements certainly resonate with those made by neo-Nazis. But I have seen no concrete evidence in his case either that would support the charge of being a “neo-nazi.”

And applying the term to the Sad Puppies is simply slander, pure and simple. I have no objection to calling either Brad Torgersen or Larry Correia “right wing,” because they are—and say as much themselves. If you want to add the term “extreme” because it makes you feel better, so be it. For whatever it’s worth, coming from someone who has seen extreme right-wingers a lot more up-close and personally than I suspect Irene Gallo ever has, I think applying the adjective to either Brad Torgersen or Larry Correia is not accurate. If we can descend into the real world, for a moment, what both men are is political conservatives with a libertarian slant who are also devout Mormons. (I mention their religion simply because, as with most religious people, it does influence their political views at least to some degree.)

But leaving aside the issue of “extreme,” suggesting that either of them is a “neo-nazi” or anything remotely close is just disgusting. And don’t anyone bother protesting that Gallo didn’t actually make that charge directly since she did, after all, distinguish between “extreme right wing” and “neo-nazi.”

Yes, I know she did—with the clear intent of smearing the two together. This is the sort of rhetorical device that Theodore Beale loves to use also, when he insists he doesn’t “advocate” shooting girls in the head for wanting to get an education, he just points out that, empirically and scientifically speaking, it’s “rational” for the Taliban to do so.

I’m not guessing at Gallo’s intent, either, as will become blindingly obvious when we move on to her second sentence. But before I do so it’s necessary to address the last part of her first sentence, which is either as dishonest as the first part or is just silly, I’m not sure which:

“…that are calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy.”

Huh? The last time I looked, nobody except possibly Theodore Beale (and even with him you’d really have to squint) is calling for the end of social justice in F&SF. In one way or another, at least half of the stories written in our field—including ones by Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia—are stories in which the fight for social justice figures prominently. To be sure, people can disagree over what social justice really is and isn’t and the best way to achieve it. But who in hell is actually calling for social justice to end?

Once again, Gallo is employing sleazy rhetoric. The charge which can accurately be laid at the feet of the Sad Puppies is that they are calling for an end (or at least amelioration) of what they believe to be the dominating influence of what they call “social justice warriors” over who gets nominated for and wins the Hugo Award. But translating that into the statement that they are “calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy” is ridiculous. You could just as easily charge me with “calling for the end of straight white males” because I do in fact believe that straight white males have an undue amount of power and influence in our society.

Okay, enough on that. Now let’s move to the second sentence, which is the heart of her statement:

They are unrepentantly racist, sexist and homophobic.”

This statement is not even true applied to the Rabid Puppies, although it certainly comes close, especially on the issues of sexism and homophobia. The problem is with the term “unrepentantly” which gives Theodore Beale more credit than he deserves. It would be more accurate to say “the Rabid Puppies are racist, sexist and homophobic even though they try to worm their way out of being blatant about it, especially when it comes to race.” (Where Beale likes to use William Buckley’s old tactic of insisting the problem isn’t an “inherent” defect in black people but simply the fact they haven’t been civilized long enough to have a culture equal to that of white people.)

But, never mind. This is a technicality. It is a simple fact that Beale and his supporters are vicious bigots and that’s as far as I’ll go in defending them.

The real issue is that, once again—and this time without any phony attempt to distinguish between the two—Irene Gallo has slandered the Sad Puppies by trying to make them identical with the Rabid Puppies.

In what sense can Brad Torgersen or Larry Correia or any person identified with the Sad Puppies be called racist, sexist and homophobic, much less “unrepentantly” so?

Words matter, damn it. If Irene Gallo has any citations that would substantiate her charges, let her make them public. And if she can’t—and I’ll make a prediction here: she can’t—then she needs to publicly retract the accusation and apologize to the people against whom she made it.

Period. There is nothing to discuss here. Put up or shut up.

And before Gallo or anyone else tries to get around this by arguing that what’s involved isn’t any blatant statement but the “inescapable and inherent logic” of the positions advanced by the Sad Puppies, I will remind you that you are dealing with a hard-bitten and very experienced old socialist who has had that same filthy tactic used against him for decades. I have been slandered as a “commie” since I was a teenager. (Even during years when I was actually a conservative in my political views on most subjects outside of civil rights.) And whenever I would challenge someone to back up their charges, they would always fall back on the same rhetorical tricks being used by Irene Gallo:

Guilt by association. Guilt by suggesting some “inner logic”—and never mind that the “inner logic” was directly contradicted by statements I made or actions I took. Blah blah blah. Trust me, I know every trick in this particular book. Call it the “Manual for Red-Baiting”—and the fact that this time around the same crap is being applied to people on the right doesn’t change its inherently squalid nature one damn bit.

Finally, there’s this last sentence:

A noisy few but they’ve been able to gather some Gamergate folks around them and elect a slate of bad-to-reprehensible works on this year’s Hugo ballot.”

I’ll leave aside the issue of whether Gallo can substantiate her claim that “Gamergate folks” are even involved in this debate, much less that they were “gathered” by people actively participating. I suspect she’s just shooting from the hip but at this point it’s a trivial issue. The really important business comes at the end:

“…a slate of bad-to-reprehensible works on this year’s Hugo ballot.”

Again… huh? In what sense can any of the nominees for Best Novel be characterized as “bad-to-reprehensible”?

To remind everyone, the nominees are:

  • Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
  • The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • Skin Game, Jim Butcher (Orbit UK/Roc Books)
  • The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)

I’ve read Skin Game and saw nothing “bad-to-reprehensible” in the book. In fact, I enjoyed it a lot, as I have the entire Dresden Files series. I haven’t yet read Ancillary Sword but I did read Ancillary Justice and I find it hard to believe there’s anything “bad-to-reprehensible” there either. I haven’t read this specific novel by Kevin Anderson but he’s a friend of mine and I’ve not only read quite a few of his novels but he and I just got a contract from Baen Books for a new fantasy series and if there was anything “bad-to-reprehensible” in either our (very long and detailed) proposal or any novel of his I’ve ever read, it passed me by entirely.

I haven’t read Goblin Emperor but it’s the next book I’m about to start reading, in part because it came highly recommended by a couple of friends neither of whom saw fit to mention anything “bad-to-reprehensible” in it. And if the charge is to be leveled against The Three Body Problem is it actually the book itself which is “bad-to-reprehensible” or just the translation?

It’s perfectly obvious that Irene Gallo is just shooting from the hip again. The nominees she’s really aiming at are presumably the stories published by Castalia House, except she’s not bothering to aim at all. She’s just blasting away in the same indiscriminate and irresponsible manner that infuses her entire statement.

I will add, by the way, that I have read one of the Castalia stories: “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” by John C. Wright, which is one of the nominees for Best Short Story. I didn’t much care for the story, for reasons I’ll explain in a later post. But I saw nothing “bad-to-reprehensible” about it other than Wright’s penchant for fustian prose.

Once again, we see silliness melded with smearing. That is to say, the same sort of red-baiting-turned-backward tactic that Gallo has applied throughout.

Okay, enough. In later posts, I will go back to addressing the real issues involved in this debate. For now, I will end by speaking directly to Irene Gallo, if she’s reading this.

 

You screwed up. (It doesn’t matter what the reason was. I’m not a mind reader and neither is anyone else.) Retract the statement publicly and issue a simple and straightforward apology.

That’s it. If you do that, it’s over. If anyone tries to keep this issue going after that—yes, I know someone will, there are always assholes baying for someone else’s blood—then I will defend you just as vigorously as I’m now criticizing you.

Words matter. That includes retractions and apologies.

 

If anyone doesn’t understand why that’s true, I will do my best to explain it to you even though it ought to be obvious.

First of all, if you refuse to accept someone’s retraction and apology when they screw up, then you remove any incentive for anyone to ever do so. When faced with the alternatives of being damned if they do and damned if they don’t, almost everyone will keep doing it.

Secondly, you will introduce a strain of venom and rancor into the argument that you will regret sooner or later because it will almost certainly come back to bite you. As a rule, the only people who win debates fought with knives are undertakers.

 

I’m taking the time to deal with this for two reasons. The first and simplest is that people I know have been unfairly and unjustly accused and I will therefore defend them.

My other reason is more pragmatic. The debate/argument/brawl—call it whatever you will—that we are now having over the Hugo Awards is one that I would like to end. I’ve been mostly arguing against the Sad Puppies not out of animosity—several of them are friends of mine and none of them are people I dislike—but because I am trying to persuade them that their analysis of the situation is faulty and the course of action they’ve adopted is futile at best.

I will continue that debate. But I can’t possibly succeed in my goal, or even make any significant progress, if the people I’m arguing with are not only convinced that they’re being slandered but actually are being slandered. Under those circumstances, people stop listening to anyone except those already supporting them.

So do I. So do you. So does everyone.

So it needs to stop. On all sides.

(for the other posts on the Hugo controversy, visit the Hugo Controversy category.)

 

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360 Responses to IN DEFENSE OF THE SAD PUPPIES

  1. Shara says:

    If you’re not already aware (and if someone else pointed this out in the comments, I apologize, as 100+ comments are a LOT to wade through), Chuck Wendig put up an interesting angle on this whole FB post and apology business. I’d love to hear your thoughts, be it here in the comments or in a separate post.

    http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/06/09/i-stand-by-irene-gallo/

    • Calbeck says:

      Having looked at the article, Mr. Flint, it’s all about how Ms. Gallo did nothing wrong and that anyone who took offense to it are assholes.

      “Because when you call assholes assholes, they tend to flail around and make louder asshole noises — it is the asshole’s natural defense mechanism…. the publisher wants to publicly shame a woman editor for saying things that other editors have said in the past… This is the publisher that housed a known harasser of women”

      Then he goes after quotes from Beale and Wright by way of “proving” Ms. Gallo was totally right in everything she said about the SP/RP groups as a whole.

      Hate to point it out, but these are pretty much the sort of people James was going on and on about. They not only aren’t shocked by calling people “racists, bigots and homophobes”, but they are absolutely convinced the labels are accurate and they are acting righteously in saying so.

      • Bibliotheca Servare says:

        Yep. How refreshingly…oops, I meant “tiringly” unoriginal and imbecilic. It’s amazing the persistence with which some folks brandish their ignorance, group-hate, and knee-jerk bigotry, isn’t it? “When you call assholes assholes” indeed. I wonder what “Chuck” would say if I called him the asshole that he is behaving like. Mayhap he’d “make asshole noises” or somesuch thing? No…oh wait…the content of his reply doesn’t matter, according to his metric! Eureka! Anything my opponent says, however reasonable, I can disregard as “asshole noises” once I have mentally, and publicly, declared they are assholes! And then they magically cease to exist! Right? Hrm…that doesn’t sound correct…darn you, so-called “real world” and darn you, “logic!” Ruining my/Chuck’s perfectly good plan/theory of reality! *grumblegrumble*
        Lol, your point was well made, I just wanted to add a dash of “this is how Chuck appears to function on an intellectual level,” for laughter-inducing purposes. ;-)

  2. Richard Hartman says:

    Thank you for posting this. Very well done. However, with regard to “I am trying to persuade them that their analysis of the situation is faulty” I ask you to consider the situation you are just now writing about. Part of SP1 was the premise that “authors with the wrong politics who got on the ballot would be attacked” (Correia). You, yourself, just wrote “if the people I’m arguing with are not only convinced that they’re being slandered but actually are being slandered”. Does this not actually point to their analysis being correct? There are some other issues, some of which differ between the three campaigns, most of the ones I have seen have been borne out. Correia (The Combat Accountant) even has some statistical breakdowns of nominations from previous years that show far too much regularity. I am just saying that as you attempt to persuade them that their analysis is faulty … keep in mind the possibility that it isn’t.

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  4. Joshua David says:

    Thank god someone is speaking out in defense of angry white men!

    • James May says:

      Ever see that blindfold thingy on that statue thingy that stands in front of justice building thingy’s?

      • Mike says:

        What about it?

        • Bibliotheca Servare says:

          *smacks own forehead* He’s saying that “Justice is blind” mate. He’s endeavoring to point out how (even of accurate which it most spectacularly is not) Joshua David’s comment is absolutely, utterly, inarguably childish, ignorant, and staggeringly stupid. Asinine about covers it. But, as I said, not only is Johua’s comment mind-numbingly moronic, it is also grossly, laughably, insultingly inaccurate. As Mr. Doherty pointed out in his open letter to Tor’s customers, the “puppy” slates and groups are comprised of more than straight white men, or even men, or whites. Hell, if we (ridiculously) ignore all the multicolored (because it’s a fun word) women involved on the “puppies” side, and only give a damn about the men, or even just Larry and Brad, Larry, despite media bullshit to the contrary, is NOT white. He is Hispanic, grew up a poor “brown” kid (genetically brown. His melanin count is similar to what a Conquistador would have had…ie, comparatively pale, but arguably swarthy…also gigantic.) in an are filled with poor brown kids.
          (Read his “about me” page, Joshua, and come back when you’ve extracted your brain from your gastrointestinal tract.)
          Okay? Lady Justice is blind. Therefore bitching about nonexistent “angry white men” is meaningless, unless (Joshua) wants Justice to have a deliberate bias. To “peek” through her blindfold, as it were, in order to avoid the appearance of treating all people equally. Whites are worthless, in other words, is Joshua’s point, when it’s boiled down. Capisce? :-P
          Be well. ;-)

          • meh.. blind...suuuure says:

            And because justice is blind are so much more black and latinos in your jails, white ppl get less severe punishment or get of dcott free, even when they straight out kill people.

            Also i am no judge more than for my own opinion and sb who s a white supremacist sexist homophobe and talks stuff very similar to a lot of my newer ancestors had to the harm of millions of innocent people, that person is jes in my opinion, a neo nazi even if he shies away from the worst of language bc that would make it obvious.
            I’d love to see fairness in the sense of a colourblind judge in the american court system..
            Dont think it will happen, though.

            • Bibliotheca Servare says:

              I wrote a long comment deconstructing your point, such as it is and what there is of it. I deleted it. Because the simple response to you is this: Lady Justice is blind. Just because Her servants are sometimes regrettably less blind doesn’t change the fact of Her blindness. She is an Ideal. A Principle. Something to aspire to. Justice is blind for as long as those who claim to be seeking ansd serving Justice -and who aspire to support the Law- endeavor to mete out justice upon those who violate the Law without regard for skin color, sex, creed, faith, wealth -or lack thereof-, or any other characteristic that differentiates any one alleged lawbreaker from any other alleged lawbreaker. Is this a Pipedream? Obviously. But as long as the *servants* of the law are tireless in the pursuit of that Pipedream, all hope will not be lost. And what “Joshua David” and his fellow jackasses are suggesting is that we, as a society, abandon that principle. That we say “fuck it” and make it so that in the Justice System, rather than having “racial” bias or a bias against a certain sex be a *flaw* in the system, we make it a *feature* of the system. “Whites are privileged, and underrepresented in the prison system!!!1!1 We have to remedy this evil! Whites should automatically earn more severe and longer prison sentences, for lesser crimes, than “nonwhites” do!” “Men are privileged and…overrepresented… in our prison systems! We need to send more men to prison! Or #killallmen at the very least, if we can’t imprison them!1!!” I know this isn’t going to get through to you. But what the hell, I had the time. Oh, and *please* assume you know my sex and race! It’s so much *fun* when ignorant, arrogant “progressive” jackasses assume that because I disagree with them about the nature of reality I must be ____sex and ___gender! Have a lovely, lovely day.
              ;-)

    • David Medinnus says:

      Even angry white men can be attacked. Even angry white men can be unjustly slandered. Why shouldn’t someone defend them under those circumstances?

  5. G.C. says:

    (Yawn) Tempest… in a thimble.

    Let’s get back to arguing vehemently about UFO sightings, like our “classic” sci-fi fore-fandoms did!

    :D

    • Calbeck says:

      We do that now, only we call the UFOs “white privilege” and hold LARPs called “award ceremonies” to shoot them down. -;)

      • Bibliotheca Servare says:

        Roflmao! Oh…I think I hurt something, laughing so hard… That’s not nice… Watch where you point that wit, you reckless rascal! ;-P
        ;-)

  6. Tigerlily says:

    She did apologise but in a “I apologise that people took offence” way. It wasn’t much of an apology. And Tor has taken the stance that “it was her personal page” even though she was promoting a book for them.

    • Brad Handley says:

      Tigerlilly,
      Yes she apologized to those she hurt. But
      1) She did not issue a retraction. She actually doubled down and said while she impugned some people her accusations were accurate. “I used to broad of a brush”.
      2) She did not apologize to the people she offended. So Tigerlilly is it ok for me to hurt you and offend everyone who witnesses it and only apologize to you? Or should I have to apologize to everyone I offended since my vicious actions crapped on their wonderful day as well?

  7. Mr. Flint,

    I hope you don’t mind if I add you to my blogroll.

    You and I disagree on a lot of things but I’m going to check out your books and give you kudos for being someone who can disagree with Sad Puppies in an adult fashion. I wish that more people were like you.

    Thanks!

    — G.K.

    PS — I had originally planned to email this to you or use a contact form but you don’t have one. :(

    • Dave Leigh says:

      Indeed. I also don’t share your politics, Mr. Flint; but I will sample your work and read more of your blog. Integrity counts.

      Something too often forgotten in this modern era is that it is perfectly acceptable for two people to disagree. They may air their views and when all is said they may each conclude that they were each unswayed by the other’s argument. In the end it is not what we believe, but how we treat one another that is important. That is respect.

  8. Connie C says:

    All right maybe it is conformation bias on my part, but having read the original comment several times, Mr. Flint, I honestly can’t come up with the same reading you do that the neo-Nazi part was supposed to apply to all the pups. I keep coming up against respectively, which to me. Means group one is A, and group two is B.
    Do you have any idea exactly what we are looking at differently? I’ve read your post through three times and I’m still drawing a blank on how our reading diverged.
    Thanks.

    • mrsizer says:

      There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies respectively.

      Explain the word “to”. If she had written “There are two extreme right-wing and neo-nazi groups, called …” You might have a point. “To” implies “ranging from extreme right-wing to neo-nazi”. It is one big adjective, not two independent descriptions.

      If you think the word “respectively” is so important, I can disagree and say the word “to” is more important. It’s badly written; I think we can agree on that.

      • Bibliotheca Servare says:

        Indeed. *Teal’C eyebrow lift* it’s as if grammar only matters when it agrees with their skewed, ludicrously parsed defense of an indefensible (to people with brains rather than “direct-injection Party-line-to-spout ports” inside their cranial casings) and childishly untrue, not to mention defamatory, statement by on of Tor’s four upper level Directors, isn’t it? Hypocritical, sanctimonious, self-righteous donkey-hats? Where?! Oh. There. *nodnod* How…entirely unsurprising. My kingdom for a mute button! ;-P
        Nicely, and succinctly, put, mrsizer. Kudos.
        ;-)

        • Carbonel says:

          Ms Gallo’s Facebook post is the gift that keeps on giving.

          The comments defending her parse her sentences to a fair-thee-well, demanding the readers put the very best construction on it, thus giving anyone who cares to (and screenshots are forever) passionate defense after passionate defense of very carefully reading (for example) Theodore Beale in order to tweeze every jot-and-tittle of nuance that “proves” he is as pure as Ms. Gallo was in saying something insulting about someone.

          Meanwhile, at Tor.com we have literally 100s of posts defending the unbridgeable right of people (of which Ms Gallo is the exemplar) not to be censured, or have their employment threatened because they used social media to say something indefensible.

          It’s vastly amusing.

  9. I apologize, but I must disagree. Even if Gallo committed the sin of hyperbole, I don’t think she did more than express her opinion.

    All of the further comments about how words matter is undercut by the fact that you don’t seem to know what the puppy novel nominations were, and try to smear Gallo’s comments over Addison, Leckie’s, and Liu when they weren’t puppy-affected.

    Still, cheers, and I hope the trolls out there aren’t too unkind.

    • Seymour says:

      She expressed an opinion and lied in that opinion.
      We now know that if your politics are to the centre or right and you don’t believe all the righteous gunk that the likes of Gallo spew then Tor is not the place for you.

      I am glad that the senior editors and staff at Tor have been so open, we now know what they hold to be true.
      If they hadn’t been so forthright they could continue claiming that they only ignore writing that is bad, when deciding what to publish.

    • Brad Handley says:

      Simply put, since she is an Employee of Tor and she was speaking about some of her coworkers, this could be taken to court as Criminal LIBEL. Slander is the defamation by the spoken word. Libel is defamation by the written word. When Entertainment Weekly made similar libelous statements their lawyers told them to immediately issue a retraction. Unfortunately Irene does not seem to know what she should do.

      • snowcrash says:

        What is “criminal LIBEL”? Good gods, someone better call the police!

        I would suggest that you return your internet law degree.

      • No, EW did not issue a retraction due to lawyer requests. They corrected the article because they received factual information showing that it was wrong. The article was written based on limited, incorrect information. That was all.

        The standards for libel and slander are very high and there also has to be money involved for there to be any type of successful civil proceedings. Libel per-se is accusing someone in writing of a crime they did not do. This on the face of it doesn’t rise to that.

        It’s just poor judgment.

  10. Dex says:

    So far, I’ve read “Ancillary Sword”, backtracked and read “Ancillary Justice” for perspective, and “Three Body Problem”. I’ve started “Skin Game”.

    “Justice” was actually pretty good. I’d probably have given my vote to “Warbound”, because I liked it better, but I can live with “Justice” getting the Hugo. “Sword”, however, is a major comedown. If Leckie publishes “Ancillary Mercy”, and it wraps everything up in a big package of awesome, I’ll just assume a case of Two Towers Syndrome — middle volume of a trilogy frustration. Meanwhile, Nyeh Hugo for “Sword”.

    “TBP” has me eagerly anticipating the translation of the sequel.

    I’ve never read any Butcher / Dresden stuff. By the end of this book, I’m guessing the first 14 will be on my post-Hugo reading list.

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      You…you…monster! Starting the “Dresden Files” at “Skin Game”?? Oh…Burn The Heretic!! ;-P lol…I love those books, if you couldn’t tell… Good luck putting them down! *wicked cackle* ;-P ;-D

    • Carbonel says:

      Is “Sword” really so much worse? If so I might take a look at “Justice” because after reading it most of the GoodReads and other popular reviews all claimed it was better.

      And frankly, “Sword” read like someone had persuaded the poor woman that sentence structure, punctuation and plotting were Tools of the Patriarchy. “Sword” thus took a fairly standard (but good fun) political/galactic empire space opera with a “unusual human beings are the aliens” trope and rendered it painfully slow and awkward to read. And in at least three places her own mis-handling of her pronoun gimmick threw me out of the story to try to puzzle out a “no prize” for why words that shouldn’t exist in her alien human culture, did anyway.

      Pull any chapter at randome from Merchanteer’s Luck, Cetaganda or one of Rusch’s “Retrieval Artist” books and compare it to a random chapter from “Sword” and you’ll see what I mean. The difference is painful.

    • Bob Gottlieb says:

      Ooo, Skin Game is up for a Hugo. Now that’s something I’ve read. Maybe the only thing in the last decade.

      I strongly recommend the Harry Dresden series of books. It’s right after the Honorverse in my priority list. And I must recommend in particular “Dead Beat”. I would tell you why the near-ending is hilarious, but that would give it away. Some clues include: Zombies, Polka.

  11. Pingback: Sad/Rabid Puppies meets Godwin | The Tone Police

  12. david mann says:

    Perhaps that apology could have used a once over by a good editor. I’ve heard they are helpful.

  13. J. R. Tomlin says:

    I’m sorry Mr. Flint but your assertion that one has to join a neo-Nazi organization for one’s politics to be neo-Nazi is outright dishonest. If I happen not to be a member of a far left organization, does that keep me from being a socialist? I assure you that it does not.

    When someone makes statements, as Beale has, that support neo-Nazi positions, it is NOT slanderous to call him out on them as a neo-Nazi. And it was the Sad Puppy’s choice to ally themselves with these racist, sexist, homophobic neo-Nazis. “Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas’ is an adage because it is true. And your rather vicious attack on Ms. Gallo is unconscionable. Disagreeing with her is one thing. Accusing her of commiting an illegal act–slander–is something else entirely. You are guilty of much worse than any possible hyperbole in her commetn.

    • ZeeWulf says:

      Sad Puppies allied with Rabid Puppies? Or do you happen to mean Vox/Beale basically jumping into the pool alongside this year? (Recommending a work last year doesn’t count as being an ally, in most circles.) Because none of the SP crowd ever went over to the RP guys and said “hey, we’s best buds, let’s hang out and do this together!” This is the sort of slanderous drek that Eric is talking about.

      • ZeeWulf:

        Naomi Kritzer makes a pretty solid case that Vox Day was involved in choosing the SP3 slate.

        In a nutshell: Larry Correia (and others) have consistently referred to themselves as the “Evil League of Evil” (a reference to Joss Whedon’s “Dr. Horrible”), which is, I admit, pretty funny. But it’s become a nickname that became their routine term for referring to a group consisting of Vox Day, Larry Correia, John C. Wright, and Sarah Hoyt.

        When Larry Correia announced the SP3 slate on his blog, he said things like “here is what the Evil League of Evil authors came up with in discussion,” “Everybody up there is someone who the ELoE talked about.” and “The ELoE talked about [the problem of controversy] a lot before putting together a slate.”

        If we take Correia at his word from back before the SPs started trying to distance themselves from VD, it certainly sounds like VD was involved in choosing the SP slate.

        • Bibliotheca Servare says:

          Naomi would be one of the “absolutely not insultingly, indefensibly rude and childish, conspiracy-minded” (to paraphrase myself) “unerringly…pleasant *derisive snort* and civil persons, whose literal-minded approach to reading renders them incapable of grasping sardonic, deliberately mocking, troll-baiting demonstrations of wit” (*massive* paraphrase…but basically an accurate restatement of what I originally wrote) when such demonstrations all but run by them naked as a baby. Demonstrations (of wit. keep up please) such as Mr Wright’s invention, and Mr Correia’s, Mrs Hoyt’s, et al’s (the Latin scholar in me just winced) use of the “ELoE” as though it actually existed. Hell, she even says she “knows some may think it’s just a joke” (paraphrase, because I can’t be buggered to reread her jointly aggravating, childish, nutty, and hilarious screed/theory and effort to induce a “Stalinist-Russia-style” -as Larry put it, speaking of folks like her, and you, in general- denunciation [and tarring -via”guilt by association”- of those who decline to denounce] of Theodore Beale as a monster and “unrepentant racist, misogynist, homophobe, child-murder(er) supporting, cute-kitten-drowning, genociode-minded, naughty, naughty, ‘terrible excuse for a Neo-Nazi’-ing, jerk” [in essence] from authors, commenters, and bloggers [and more] friendly to “TCtPP-RS”) (check my earlier comments, if you can’t puzzle out the acronym…I’m not writing it long-form)
          But she emphasizes that “the evidence” (the nonexistent evidence, that her fevered mind built out of whole cloth, and an inability to accept that the world is not literally out to get her, and some things really are just jokes intended to simultaneously 1: make Larry, Sarah, and Brad’s etc fans laugh, and 2: bait people like her, and you) suggests it’s “totes real” (to deliberately paraphrase her in a silly way) and seriously spooky badness. ees funny, you see? ees veddy veddy funny. The ELoE is an in-joke. Nothing less. Grow a sense of humor.
          Ciao! ;-)

    • Carbonel says:

      When someone makes statements, as Beale has, that support neo-Nazi positions, it is NOT slanderous to call him out on them as a neo-Nazi

      Which statements? I can’t recall whether or not he’s come out against smoking, but it’s possible. On the bright side, even if he loathes it and considers it a vice, he’s a libertarian so won’t support government persecution of smokers, so you’re safe.

      Oh, wait, you don’t mean that it’s possible that something he said is the same as something a member of a Neo-Nazi gang or cult said. You mean he shares the same philosophies goals and opinions in toto that neo-nazis share.

      He doesn’t. It’s a lie. He’s a frickin’ libertarian and he believes Asians are genetically superior to white people. Yes, crazy opinions but not ne0-nazi. Not genocidal. Not “want to kill all the brown people and make them slaves” and spreading that kind of slander about someone? Evil.

      What’s sad and scary about the whole Irene Gallo things is that it doesn’t matter if she’s lying about believing that Brad Torgerson, Larry Correia, John Wright, Sarah Hoyt, Theodore Beale and Kate Paulk are either neo-Nazis or neo-Nazi sympathizers or sincere.

      What matters is that people feel comfortable telling atrocious lies about people because some (not all SOME) of their politics or religious beliefs don’t agree with yours.

      Now that’s evil.

  14. Pingback: katster's closet » It’s OK if You’re a Puppy

  15. J. R. Tomlin says:

    Ms Gallo has a right to consider the works terrible, even if you don’t. It is known as opinion. You cannot disprove it with a list saying she has to be wrong because you say so.

    • Sigivald says:

      Sure, but her list can equally be mocked – and that’s also a right, and “opinion”.

      Some opinions, of course, are better than others, being defensible and having reasoning presented behind them.

    • Carbonel says:

      And it helps a WHOLE lot, if your boss doesn’t publish them and you don’t publically announce your opinion about your company’s product to the whole wide world.

      Because while you can make a case for “bad” being squishy opinion about literary quality, “reprehensible” implies MacMillan is publishing Mein Kampf for the 21st Century: How to commit genocide using simple tools you have at home.

      But hey, keep on parsing those sentences. The internet is forever. So the next time Vox Day or John Wright or Brad Torgeson or Patrick Stewart or anybody who posts something from the “not-SJW” or “might be conservative” side of the spectrum, says something that torques you off we’ll be there with screen shots to remind you of your commitment to tolerance, putting the best construction on people’s words and freedom of speech.

      Thanks ever so!

  16. J. R. Tomlin says:

    Since I expect my (very honest) original post to be moderated, I will just say this, Mr. Flint. I suggest to talk to your attorney before you accuse someone of committing slander because you may very well be guilty of that, much more likely than that Ms. Gallo is. And the idea that you must join an ‘official’ neo-Nazi organization to be a ‘neo-Nazi’ is blatantly absurd. It depends on your beliefs, not whether or not you join organizations.

    • Calbeck says:

      It seems you did not read much of Mr. Flint’s post, where he does in fact address beliefs in asserting that “neo-Nazi” was an inappropriate term for Ms. Gallo to use.

      Then again, I am responding to someone whose first post was a complete and utter defense of Ms. Gallo on the basis that her assertions of racism, sexism, homophobia and political extremism applying to whole groups amounts only to “opinion” and not slander. Followed immediately by the same person asserting that Mr. Flint’s far more tame, reserved, sourced and intelligent post is something he should be seeking legal counsel to defend.

      THAT, my good Tomlin, is “blatantly absurd”.

      You, and people like you here and elsewhere on the Internet who are now rallying to Ms. Gallo’s defense, claiming her allegations were justifiable in any substantial sense, are precisely the sort of people who lend credence to the notion of an “extremist left-wing cabal” wrecking the Hugos.

      • Bibliotheca Servare says:

        ^This. I’d reply to this ass, but I lack the energy to impart sufficiently withering condescension, sarcasm, and criticism. Thankfully, you’ve done a bang-up job yourself! I can relax, lol. Perfect response, Mr. Calbeck.
        ;-)

    • Pete M says:

      J.R., that’s just silly. Neither her claim nor Mr. Flint’s rejoinder would be actionable. She engaged in rhetorical excess; he is allowed to say that this excess was defamatory, even though she’d probably win a defamation claim.

      And yes, she has every legal right to express her opinion. But he’s allowed to say her opinions are dumb or overstated, which they are.

    • Jim Butcher says:

      In print it’s libel.

  17. Jim Butcher says:

    I don’t know if Ms. Gallo’s apology was sincere or insincere.

    I don’t know that, because I can’t read her freaking mind.

    And neither, presumably, can anyone else.

    I work with words professionally. I know exactly how powerful they can be. I am also well aware of their limits–and when it comes to expression complex thoughts in emotionally tense situations over the goddamned internet, the magic of written language has little power.

    How can it? It’s missing too much. You can’t read tone of voice, or the expression on a person’s face when they’re making keys click. Pretty much all you get is “clickity click click.”

    I’m also an English major. So I’m very aware of how skilled human beings can be at reading all kinds of absolute horse manure into other people’s writing, and then declaring it “subtext” or “internally consistent logic.”

    But it isn’t. It’s you, guessing. And your guess is probably prejudiced to one degree or another, most often by projecting things into it that were never meant to be there. Or, put another way:

    http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/what-the-author-meant.jpg

    Maybe Ms. Gallo wrote the apology with a smirk and a cigarette hanging off of one lip while reciting nasty twitter quotes at every individual member of Science Fiction Fandom. Or maybe she was crying and upset and genuinely trying to make amends. Or maybe she was just numb and exhausted. I don’t know.

    Neither do you. That’s kind of my point.

    But maybe it’s simplest if the curtains were fucking blue, we take her words at face value, and extend a bit of human courtesy and trust to a fellow science fiction nerd. Because she is one, whether that pleases you or not.

    Deep breaths here, guys. Her comment was out of line and made a lot of people upset. She apologized to those people.

    The curtains were fucking blue.

    Can we just get on with life, please?

    • Echo says:

      That would be nice, but “I’m sorry you’re upset I called you a nazi, nazi” doesn’t really offer much of an opportunity for reconciliation.
      Dropping it and getting on with life just means “bury it in the woods out back and let it its spectre haunt every family gathering until someone finally snaps”.

      This has been a long time in coming. People are finally saying the things they’ve been thinking for years, and they can’t go back to biting their tongues.

    • Calbeck says:

      Okay, Mr. Butcher, let’s take the words at strictly face value.

      She says she believes her words only hurt “some individuals”, despite having flatly aimed them at whole groups. She is only apologizing to those she believe may have been hurt by her words.

      So on that basis, I’d like to see her drop the “some individuals” nonsense, which only minimizes the scope of her apology needlessly.

    • Hi Jim (and hi, Eric! *waves*),

      As a semipro hothead myself, with a temperament and upbringing that makes me want to See Justice Done (my version of justice, of course) so strongly that I forget mercy, sometimes — thanks for showing up and encouraging people to take a breath. The level of vitriol surrounding this year’s Hugos seems to have started turning fandom/genre preferences into mini-wars, and dividing a diverse community I’ve always enjoyed being a part of.

      I appreciate what you both have to say about rendering and accepting apologies — I’ve seen Torgersen called out for needing to issue one on a different occasion, and he did — and Gallo issued hers in this case. Apologies don’t get everyone in the SF/F community on the same page, but they definitely can help turn the rage down and lead back to civil discourse.

      Bravi.

    • Eric Flint says:

      I agree with Jim. If I wanted to, I could certainly parse Gallo’s apology to see if I could ferret out insincerity or half-heartedness, or whatever the hell. But you know what? I could also — even more easily — parse the comments being made by people still baying for her blood and show that they are at best insincere and usually fraudulent.

      Why “fraudulent?” Consider this old post by Larry Correia:

      “Not to mention that one of my stated goals was to demonstrate that SJWs would have a massive freak out if somebody with the wrong politics got on. So on the slate it went. I nominated Vox Day because Satan didn’t have any eligible works that period.”

      In other words, he deliberately chose Vox Day’s story not because he really thought it was that good — so he lied about that, in other words — but because he was hoping to get the sort of explosion that Irene Gallo provided so it could be used to “prove” the wickedness of his opponents.

      In other words, you Sad Puppies got exactly what you hoped for and now you’re claiming that you’re deeply upset and offended and you will not by God settle for anything less than Irene Gallo’s entrails being hung from a lamp post.

      Bullshit. You are a pack of unscrupulous schemers. I defended you against her charges because I felt obliged to do so. But, trust me, I held my nose all the way through. That was the most unpleasant thing I’ve done in a long time.

      • Bibliotheca Servare says:

        I see. I’m an “unscrupulous schemer” now. I thought I just like good books, no matter the race, gender, or other buzzword category the author fell in to. I thought all I was guilty of was declining to consider books that shout at me that I’m a bad person for my faith, or my race, or my beliefs on a whole range of subjects, to be “good books” in my own opinion. I thought that I wasn’t involved in “SP2″ the only iteration of “Sad Puppies” in which Theodore Beale was even vaguely involved, and that that year, he was the *only* “puppy” candidate to get a nomination, and I thought that Larry never suggested that his goal in pushing for Mr. Beale’s nomination was anything other than to prove a point. I thought that the only time Larry said he (Brad, really) voted for the folks on Brads (so called) “slate” based only on their worth as creators was in “SP3″ in which case, I feel I must ask if you did your due diligence before declaring Larry a “liar” or did you unintentionally conflate “SP2″ with “SP3″ when making that moral judgment? I thought I was just a fan with a desire for authors I adored to have a chance at “the most prestigious award” I’m sci fi, because I felt they were worthy of that honor. I thought I was taken aback at the volume of outrage, from mainstream media (EW and elsewhere) and from deceitful jerks, including some major figures in the Worldcon hierarchy (such as it is, and what there is of it), dedicated to spreading the message that my, and my friends both offline and on, vote(s) were simply an example of “cheating” and “stealing” or “destroying” (the destroy bit is in your own comment section, on the post where you replied to Brad. Lest you accuse me of meaningless, or “unscrupulous” manufacturing of quotations) the nominating process, and thereby “hijacking” the Hugos. The message that, as such, me, my friends, and multiple authors whose work I love, were nothing more than a bunch of cheating, “unscrupulous,” “abusive,” “jerks who tip over the table at the potluck”. (That last one was none other than that paragon of fairness, Kevin Standlee, the chair of this year’s business meeting) I thought I was pissed, because not only was this message unjust and unfair, bit it was evidence of a sea of hypocrisy and self-righteously arrogant assholery (not a word, but I like it) surrounding and subsuming, not only “the most prestigious award in SciFi” and the most well-known award, but subsuming and engulfing “fan/fendom” (search me. I’ve no clue what a “fen” is, aside from it being some sort of variant of the ubiquitous “trufan” that Kevin Standlee, George RR Martin and others have talked about) and an impressive chunk of the scifi fan “community” (inasmuch as such a thing exists) and so on. I thought I was blown away at the sheer level of vitriol and dishonest hatred that was cast my way, for daring to vote, even though my vote didn’t even precisely align with Brad’s “slate” in the first place! I thought I was shaken and angered at the nasty things that Theresa Nielsen-Hayden and her husband, that Mercedes *Lackey* for gods sakes! (An author I wanted to meet someday, before she demonstrated, in responding to a comment of mine, just how low an opinion she held of me and those I hold dear) were saying about me, my friends, and authors I, in the way a fan does, loved. I thought…oh hell, screw it. I have great respect for you, Mr. Flint. I have loved your work, and enjoyed reading your opinions, even if I often disagreed with them. But I am not an “unscrupulous schemer.” Nor are my friends, or my family. Nor, for that matter, are Larry, or Brad, or Sarah, or Kate, or Cedar, or Michael Williamson, or any of the other people behind, and involved in, or supportive of (like Mr. Freer seems to be, with the possible addition of John Ringo, in a knee-jerk sort of way) “The Campaign to Prevent Puppy-Related Sadness(2015)”. We may be mistaken, misguided, and irritatingly passionate in a way you disagree with, and that maybe we, were we able to distance ourselves, would find silly or misaimed. We may be simply irritating, and vexingly persistent in pur wrongheadedness. One thing we are most assuredly *not* however, is deliberately dishonest, let alone “unscrupulous[ly]” dedicated to “schemes”. I know I’d be stupid to expect you to alter, or reassess your analysis or opinion based solely on a comment I make to you. I don’t expect that. I am, however, fool enough to hope that you will consider reassessing your “unscrupulous schemers” statement upon review of this comment, and a recheck of the facts upon which that label was/is based. As I said “fool enough” to hope. Either way, I’ll keep reading here, and I’ll try to keep in mind the difference between your saying I (as a supporter/member of “Sad Puppies 3″) am an unscrupulous schemer, and your saying that I am an irredeemably bad person. I’m not being sarcastic, if the text makes it look that way. It’s just difficult for me to put this in perspective, y’know? Your work has gotten me through some hard days, so I may give your words more weight than is precisely fair to you, I freely admit. Whatever your reaction to reading this, and regardless of *whether* you read this, God bless you, sir. I know you are an atheist, bit I am not, so I am more than happy to wish God’s blessings upon you and yours.
        ;-)

        PS: I am dying inside knowing that there’s going to be a KJ Anderson-Eric Flint collab, but not knowing when…I don’t think having this many endorphins flooding my system can be healthy in the long-term… (Just kidding) (but, seriously, this is cruel and unusual punishment! I mean…) *grin*
        ;-D

        PPS: pardon the inevitable typos…I’m not good at typing on tiny touchscreen keypads/keyboards.

    • Brad Handley says:

      Jim,
      Sadly you are incorrect. Your statement, “Her comment was out of line and made a lot of people upset. She apologized to those people. ” is giving cover to her. She was asked to retract the statement in the thread. She chose not to.
      She did not apologize to the people she upset. Instead she only apologized to the people she hurt.

      Sorry,

      But you are wrong.

  18. Nick says:

    Well said as always Eric. I may not always agree with you on issues, but you’ve always been someone who understands what it means to politely disagree. I have a lot of respect for that. On this, however, I find myself almost completely in agreement with you. Whether or not the puppies were right in their charges (and I tend to think they are), the continuing arguments and mud slinging are damaging the Hugos. Gallo’s “apology” was about as weak and insincere as it gets, but it’s time to be the bigger person and just walk away. Let Irene Gallo and her supporters spew their filth. It just exposes the kind of people they are. If it’s really about getting the best stories the honor they deserve, it’s time to end the personal attacks and counterattacks and focus on the stories. The Sad Puppies have made a couple of tactical mistakes in the campaign and had others forced upon them, but continuing on letting it be about the people involved would be a strategic mistake, a big one.

    • Echo says:

      “It just exposes the kind of people they are.”
      The kind of people who dominate science fiction publishing? What do we have to walk away from, in that case?

    • Harmony says:

      I think you are still missing the point that this woman has POWER. As an editor from one of the biggest SF publishing companies she can affect the author’s ability to earn a living. If you hope to publish with TOR at any point in your career are you going to admit to voting for the Sad Puppies? Walking away from the fight sounds great in theory… until you can’t make rent. Even established authors could loose sales if people ignore books based on the rumor that they are racist. She has caused damage and the weak “apology” isn’t going to fix that.

      I would also argue that continuing arguments and mud slinging are less damaging to the Hugo’s than letting it shrink to the point of being “the best SF from TOR/Orbit/ROC traditional publishing” award. Or “the best SF from liberal authors”.

      • Eric Flint says:

        First of all, Irene Gallo is not an editor. She’s an art director. She has no decision making power over which author does or does not get published. Secondly, even if she were an editor, the power she’d have is limited, especially in a large house like Tor. The simple truth is, as any established author knows, that the power — if you want to call it that — that any author has is overwhelmingly determined by his or her sales. If you can sell a lot of books, you can say damn near anything. If you can’t, you’re likely to be dropped by a publisher even if you fawn over your editors, agree with them on every point both in private and in public — for that matter, offer to hand wash their cars.

        Publishing is a BUSINESS. Once again, the old Bolshie has to explain the basic facts of capitalist life…

        • ” If you can sell a lot of books, you can say damn near anything. ”

          Can John Ringo say anything?

          If we compare today’s SF books with yesterday’s books, today’s books are an aids infected transvestite projectile vomiting over the audience, berating the audience for racism sexism transphobia islamophobia and the rest.

          John Ringo sells a lot of books, yet has to curb his tongue rather drastically, is forced to push political views he clearly loathes, forced to speak the lies of his masters.

          Where is today’s Keith Laumer, who would ridicule democracy in favor of military dictatorship and monarchy.

          In one of Keith Laumer’s stories, the masses on a terraformed planet are oppressing the elite. The elite escape. Immediately, the big superciency machines that maintain an earthlike environment on the planet fail – “Atlas shrugged” without the lengthy speeches and with way bigger die off. That kind of stuff is not publishable today. John Ringo’s the “last centurion” ends with the military resigning and restoring civilian rule. If he had the freedom that people had in Keith Laumer’s day, would probably have ended with the military setting up a monarchy.

  19. dawn says:

    #WeAreALLSF

  20. Synova says:

    “When faced with the alternatives of being damned if they do and damned if they don’t, almost everyone will keep doing it.”

    This is very true.

    When you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t, you stop caring. In my own lifetime I’ve watched the accusation of racism go from something to fear and scramble to avoid to something that warrants a shrug and a “f*ck it.” What hasn’t changed, is that those same people are STILL not racist. They (we, whoever) know that it doesn’t matter how much you protest or what evidence you show… the accusation is what is important. And the accusation takes no evidence whatsoever. (If nothing else, you’re racist simply because your ancestors arrived from Europe… so f*ck it.)

    The Evil League of Evil is exactly that sort of statement… it doesn’t make any of the charter members (or minions racist) or homophobic or sexist, it doesn’t mean that any of their books fail any of the gawd awful stupid check lists… girls talk to girls about something other than boys, characters are “non-binary”, characters are gay… blah blah blah… But one thing is certain, pointing any of that out will (watch the comments after mine) not qualify for one reason or another. Demonstrably, and quite predictably, showing NO bigotry in your personal life also does not qualify. Mentioning it is, in fact, cited as proof of the opposite. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t… the accusation is the game. Full stop. So why not have fun with it, hm? There is no winning. There is no “good enough”. There is no satisfying the accusers. So I’ll proudly identify as a minion of the Evil League of Evil… because that’s just how much respect this all deserves.

    Twenty years ago I’d be devastated if someone so much as implied I was racist. Today? F*ck it. I own my own honor. The “social justice warriors” can bite me.

    If you’re trying to convince people that they’re not routinely and thoughtlessly slandered at every turn, you’ve got a long row to hoe, Eric. I do appreciate the effort though. And I love your books.

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      I would be misty-eyed if my jaw didn’t hurt like hellfire right now. Regardless, this was awesome. Kudos to you sir. Brava. Excellently said. Thank you. ;-)

  21. Ardent says:

    So.. you’ve read only one of the short listed books.. hardly a position from which to make qualified statements about the bad-to-reprehensibleness of them. And no, having you state that one of the authors is your friend and you will be collaborating with them doesn’t inspire me with confidence as to your judgement or neutrality (Anderson’s collaborations with Frank Herbert’s son are so bad they cause me physical pain).

    Essentially, the tl/dr version of your post is this: sure, these people are racist and homophobic and rightwing but they’re not Nazis and Irene is a big meany! and she said stuff! So I am defending these racist homophobic rightwingers from the tyranny of a mean lady who said mean stuff about them! Even if they are racist and homophobic and rightwing!

    C’mon dude. You’re defending someone who has advocated the murder of females getting an education. Of someone who denies that white American men ever rape anyone “any more”.

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      You totally read his post. Oh, wait…no, you couldn’t have if you think your “summary” has anything even vaguely in common with the actual, real world, contents of Mr. Flint’s post. Do yourself a favor, sober up, and reread the post. You are just making yourself sound like a hateful, childish, bigoted, sexist, racist, partisan jackass.
      Good day. ;-)

      • Bibliotheca Servare says:

        Maybe I shouldn’t have used those words? For some reason my comment is in moderation…in essence, my point was you either haven’t read Mr. Flint’s post, or you lack basic reading comprehension. Also, you are demonstrating the same unpleasant tendencies as you accuse the “puppies” of “sure”ly being. All the buzzwords you used as labels, except homophobia…unless you count Mr Beale’s gay supporters, in wish case, that too…are present in your post. Generalizing in an offensive way about women (the new misogyny/sexism)? Check. Generalizing in an offensive way about nonwhites (and whites)? Check. Generalizing/assuming folks from a different political viewpoint are so bad that labeling them with it is a slur? Check and Double Check. Lovely, mate, just lovely. ;-)

    • Calbeck says:

      Actually, his post says they’re NOT extremists (with the possible exception of Beale), NOT neo-Nazis (Beale included), NOT racists and NOT homophobes.

      That you re-assert they are, and then go after no one but Beale himself in order to reinforce your standing bias, only ignores and undermines what Mr. Flint is trying to accomplish.

      I’ve noticed that you have plenty of company in this forum doing exactly that.

    • Pete M says:

      I think you could argue with some degree of validity that Beale is sexist, based on his view that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote in indirect democracies, and you could also argue that Beale is racist, based on his view that blacks haven’t been advanced long enough to maintain a civilization.

      But the claim that he advocates murdering females who get an education is false. He said that the Taliban’s tactic of acid attacks on certain women is rational, in light of their objectives. He didn’t advocate it, or say it was good. Let me make an analogy: the Soviet Union used to send political dissenters to the gulag. In light of their beliefs and ideology, this was a rational thing for them to do. It advances their goals, and it did so in a manner they found acceptable.

      Does saying that make me pro-gulag?

      Beale says enough outrageous stuff to justly criticize him for the outrageous things he does say. Is it really necessary to twist the meaning of things he says that aren’t actually outrageous at all?

  22. Mike says:

    Boo hoo and waah waah.

  23. Pingback: Irene Gallo and Boycotting TOR | On Fairy Stories

  24. Thomas says:

    Hi from Germany.
    Sorry if I sound angry but I am.
    Being a friend of a collaborator with fascists doesn’t make you one yourself.
    But supporting friends no matter what doesn’t make you right, not even a tiny bit.
    I’m rather cautious of using “nazi” in any present context, but: first, “neo-nazi” isn’t the same, and second, it’s a quite common shortcut in Europe for “(neo-)fascist, racist, radical right, völkisch oriented ideologies/parties/movements”. What do you call Signora Mussolini, e.g.?
    I’m pretty sure Beale, Torgersen, Wright etc. won’t dare to publicly state the same in Germany. For horrible historical reasons our laws against Voksverhetzung and the like are rather strong.
    I’m sorry to say but from my perspective your post is much too close to those gentlemen that discussed the virtues and vices of the new Germany in some nice Parisian café or a comfy club back in 1935. Seriously, not even most NSDAP members were nazis in the narrow sense…

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      So your argument is “Germany has no concept of freedom of speech, and some of the people you are defending would be imprisoned in Germany because of that lack of speech protections -replaced by protections *from* speech…not crazy at all- and therefore your defense of your friends is equivalent to Sartre saying that Nazi Germany was a lovely little place, and all the busybodies saying nasty things about Nazi Germany were just ignorant bigots. Oh, and most of the Nazis in Nazi Germany weren’t *really* Nazis… Correct? Or were you trying to say something less utterly laughter-inducing?
      One can hope. ;-)

      • Thomas says:

        BS: Ehm, in my image EF is the friend, BT the collaborator and so on. Methinks you’ve got a little problem of interpreting pronouns.
        Wright and Kratman e.g. at least try to appear as great Vordenkers of a new Golden Age of Strong Men and Loyal Women, united under the one true faith and a strong leader.
        Where I’m from that’s close enough to neo-fascism, just a little more refined than the ususal mob.

      • meh.. blind...suuuure says:

        Well, we have learned to what uncontrolled free speech leads.
        Zo understand that we are a bit wary..

    • Hampus Eckerman says:

      Beale thinks the neo-nazi group Golden Dawn are the best alternative for Greece:

      http://voxday.blogspot.se/2013/06/the-new-dawn-rising.html

      Neo-nazi seems a good description of him.

      • Seymour says:

        He actually wrote they are the best of the bad options the Greeks have.

        You may agree or not, perhaps some other party would be better, I really don’t know.

        But having a considered opinion you disagree with doesn’t make someone a bad person nor a neo-nazi,

        • Maximillian says:

          So your position is that even though he writes approvingly of neo-nazi political parties and is continually saying things about how ‘the Jews have destroyed American exceptionalism’ or that Jews aren’t really equal citizens of any country in Europeor even that non-white people are not equally Homo sapiens… It’s just totally unreasonable for anyone to point out that he has said these things? Really?

          • Seymour says:

            No, I wrote that he had an opinion. Argue against his opinion and suggest an alternative, Syriaz perhaps.

            Not sure why you are bringing his comments about Jews into the discussion, as we know Jews have full equality in European countries so he is wrong they are not citizens of of European countries and I never understood why people believe they are bad or seek to harm the USofA.

            I went of to find his comments about homo sapiens, from what I found it appears he believes that sub-Saharan Africans are fully homo sapien, it is the Europeans and Asians that he says are not fully homo-sapien. He writes that they have neanderthal and/or denisovan genes. Yes he then claims this makes them smarter, which is a leap without logical foundation, horse hockey I say.

        • Hampus Eckerman says:

          There are a lot of parties in Greece. Reeeally a lot. And you think it is acceptable to say that the neo-nazis are the best of those parties. And doesn’t really know if it is true.

          This doesn’t make you a neo-nazi, but makes you a person who thinks neo-nazis are kind of ok. And a person I will stay away from.

          • Seymour says:

            Have any of the other parties done much for Greece?
            Its situation is so wonderful, half the young aren’t unemployed, the health service is fully funded, pensions are being paid. (ps the previous statements are false).
            Is it surprising that people look to parties that claim to have solutions.

            Would Golden Dawn usher in a golden age, no it wouldn’t but desperate people seek any port in a storm.

    • Pete M says:

      Wright is a Catholic convert and a traditionalist conservative, along the lines of GK Chesterton. Probably the closes literary analogy would be C.S. Lewis. (Unlike Eric I actually like his writing style, though I like Eric’s as well.)

      Torgerson is a libertarian-ish conservative, married to a black women, who seems pretty universalistic in his views.

      Both are political conservatives, broadly speaking. Neither is a Nazi or neo-Nazi in any way that makes any sense at all. Nor are they fascist or neo-fascist in any way that makes any sense at all. Fascism and Naziism were ideologies with an actual content; there is almost no overlap between Nazi/fascist content and what they believe.

      Beale is another matter. In order to judge whether there’s enough overlap to make the term fair when applied to him, I’d have to study his views in some detail, which I lack the energy to do.

      • Thomas says:

        Just one example:
        Let’s see, what’s the origin of the term, if not the concept of “subhuman”? Oh, well, it’s a translation of German “Untermensch”, which was quite popular for a (much too long) short period.
        Apparently, you can’t appreciate how sick those well-chosen terms and slogans sound coming from a European background.
        But I’m pretty sure Eric Flint is or should be aware of that.

        • Synova says:

          If an American started acting like an expert on German politics, you’d rightly think they were an idiot.

          All the while, what your arguments, all of them, boil down to is this:

          A lack of emotionalism and not hating the bad people hard enough = agreeing with them and supporting them.

          It’s completely absurd, not to mention irrational to hold that as some sort of standard.

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  26. Mike says:

    It’s refreshing to see anyone, especially a writer, stand up for the right of free speech, even when they disagree with what is being said.

    Thank you, Mr. Flint. Maybe there’s hope.

  27. Terranovan says:

    This seems (to me) like a good (or at least quintessential) topic for a panel discussion at an SF convention. Could this be the case? Any ideas for who would be a good moderator and/or participant?

    • Brad Handley says:

      It would be a bait panel. Or worse, a censored panel where no dissenting opinions would be allowed. Like Braina Wu had on Gamergate at RavenCon. She actually requested that no one with an opinion that did not mirror hers, come to the panel. (I use her as an example because she is one of Gallo’s champions right now and I wanted to cite the most recent example of this happening.)

      • snowcrash says:

        She actually requested that no one with an opinion that did not mirror hers, come to the panel.

        This is an outright lie. What she said was as follows:

        Neither of us wish to discuss the Hugo hijacking with any person responsible for this atrocious action. Both of us would consider it a professional courtesy if you didn’t attend Brianna’s Gamergate panel tomorrow.

        Let’s all enjoy what brings us together, rather than focus on what brings us apart.

        • Harmony says:

          “Let’s all enjoy what brings us together, rather than focus on what brings us apart.”

          Given that she uses the words “hijacking” and “atrocious action” she all but puts up a sign …NO PUPPIES ALLOWED. Otherwise she could have focused on “This is a Gamergate panel, not a Hugo panel. Stay on topic.”

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  29. Reality Observer says:

    Veering a bit…

    The one thing coming from this fracas, that seems to be almost a consensus among all parties, is that the Hugo Awards are broken. (There is a great deal of disagreement on just where the cracks are – whether it is “untrue fans” invading it, “social justice warriors” grasping it ferociously to their bosoms, or “neo-Nazi, racist, homophobes” tramping through the streets in their jackboots.)

    Mr. Flint has proposed what I consider only a very partial solution – a rather mild reorganization of the length categories. At the same time, however, he has brought up a very important point – the “field” of Science Fiction and Fantasy has grown to just about the size of the State of Kansas. None of us, whether the 40 or 50 people who nominated works in years past, or the 1,000+ who nominated works this year, can possibly have seen the entire extent of it – even if you limit it to the “traditional” publishers annual output (add in all of the tiny presses and the indies, and it is probably impossible to even list all of them).

    I think it is time for the Hugos to be split, radically, into several genres. As Mr. Flint has noted, if the “paranormal romance” fans ever take notice of the Hugos, that is what we are going to see as the winners for decades to come. So – break it up into smaller countries (while trying, really, really hard, to not follow the example of Yugoslavia or the Soviet Union).

    Then the best paranormal romance will probably be nominated and win. Myself, I can leave that part of the ballot blank, and spend my energies where I have an honest basis for opinion. (Argh! “Alternate Histories Category.” Flint? DeMarce? Gannon, Huff, Goodlett? Hey! I could have sworn that “The Viennese Waltz” was eligible this year?!?)

    Of course, this will engender a grand fight over just what the categories should be – and who fits where. I don’t think we need to get down to the point of “best fustian Christian work” or “best homosexual revenge fantasy” – but, if we do, then so be it…

  30. Kirk Hawley says:

    Synova, “Twenty years ago I’d be devastated if someone so much as implied I was racist. Today? F*ck it. I own my own honor. The “social justice warriors” can bite me.”

    Brilliant.

  31. Silly but True says:

    I’ve started seeing this “double standard” comment a lot: “This is the publisher that housed a known harasser of women (and said nothing), by the way.”

    To be sure, he means the story about Jim Frenkel and Elise Mathiesen. Methiesen alleged that Frenkel harassed her at WisCon 37 which took place from May 24-27, 2013. On July 11, 2013, Patrick Nielsen Hayden had this to say: “James Frenkel is no longer associated with Tor Books. We wish him the best.”
    https://twitter.com/pnh/status/355330955835224064

    It took Tor books roughly a month to review a sexual harassment complaint which occurred outside the organization at a company-related function between one of its employees to a non-employee, in this case an industry-related convention for which Tor’s editor’s are expected to put on a company face.

    Is what Gallo’s defenders really want then is for Tor to ultimately handle Gallo the same way they addressed the Frenkel situation? I think then everyone from both sides would likely finally be happy. (I would suggest to such defenders to beware of what you wish for.)

    Would Gallo’s defenders _really_ be happier if Doherty had not said anything and fires her in a couple of weeks rather than rebuke her words and move on? I doubt it. That’s why I place this one in the “meaningless posturing” category of arguments.

    Silly but True

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  33. J Thomas says:

    “Words matter—something you’d expect any professional in publishing to understand, even if their specialty is art work.”

    Words matter — but not very much.

    What this woman has done is say which side she’s on. That’s pretty much it.

    Vox Day has said lots of things that are at least as inaccurate, and that lump together very-different groups etc. Some people make excuses for him because they’re on his side. Some people talk about how disgusting he is because they’re opposed.

    You want her to be fair and balanced, but she’s chosen a side. Once people choose sides they stop doing that.

    Sometimes people pretend they’re fair after they choose a side. “Let’s all be rational, and polite, and look at the evidence, and agree that my side is right and the other side is wrong.” It doesn’t amount to much. The other side has done a lot of that, it isn’t worse that you do it than that they do it. It mostly doesn’t matter.

    “The last time I looked, nobody except possibly Theodore Beale (and even with him you’d really have to squint) is calling for the end of social justice in F&SF.”

    Good. They write whatever they want, and if I think I’ll like it then I’ll read it. If I get on their blogs they tell me I’m a bad person and then they throw me out. No particular harm done. You write whatever you want and I expect I’ll like it. I get the impression that the social justice people want to win, and what winning means to them is they shut up anybody who disagrees. There’s a difference between saying you don’t want them to exist versus saying it’s OK for them to exist as long as they’re impotently yammering with no effect, but I can see how they would not pay attention to that difference. But as long as they are in fact impotently yammering with no effect except to get me occasionally thrown off blogs, I’m fine with them.

    “The charge which can accurately be laid at the feet of the Sad Puppies is that they are calling for an end (or at least amelioration) of what they believe to be the dominating influence of what they call “social justice warriors” over who gets nominated for and wins the Hugo Award.”

    That’s a silly position to take. Any member can nominate anybody they want. Any member can vote to rank the top five. If SJWs are winning, it’s because there are more of them. I tend to doubt that it’s true. But the rules are clear, and fair. If you don’t like who wins the election, then win the election. Anyway, the Hugos aren’t that important unless you make them be important in your own mind. I doubt they have a lot of economic value, except maybe occasionally. Why make a big deal about this?

    Sometimes people will take almost any opportunity to take sides. Just don’t do it, unless you get some special feeling from it that you enjoy.

    If you put the time you’ve been putting into SP into writing, you will be happier and richer. Your readers will be happier. This is a stupid issue. It has created granfallons that probably should not exist.

    Look at my example. I talk to SJWs, they yell at me and throw me out. I talk to RPs, they yell at me and I go away. I am at peace with the world, nobody is my enemy, everybody does what they want and we all get along.

  34. Stephen R says:

    Mr. Flint — Broadly speaking, I don’t like your politics. But I respect the hell out of a person who actively pursues integrity in debate. Intellectual integrity is something that has become far too rare these days, in the mad pursuit of “win at any cost”.

    So thank you for this article. It took guts.

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