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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Comments

363 Responses to IN DEFENSE OF THE SAD PUPPIES

  1. Rick Ewald says:

    Very well put. Thank you.

  2. terry banta says:

    well thought out, working on my vote for the hugo and this discussion is a big distraction and i agree that one side seems to be filled with unneeded rancor than the other

  3. Steve says:

    Mr. Flint, I think I know why integrity is such a defining characteristic of the protagonists in every novel or story of yours I’ve read. Which is a lot and will be more if ever I see a third Trail of Glory book on the shelves or when I find some new-to-me 163x paperbacks (ditto your contributions to the Honorverse).

    I can’t begin to understand your values or motivations as a person. The autobiographical portions of your May 14th post flat-out mystify me (Why have you put yourself through all that for strangers and people who weren’t you and yours? What’s Hecuba to him or he to Hecuba?). But I can tell you’ve got integrity out the wazoo.

    Beyond that, as far as the details of this post… regarding “Wright’s penchant for fustian prose,” everything he’s written that I’ve tried to read was basically unreadable for me because of it. There may be other writers who could benefit just as much from treating the rules in Strunk & White or “Politics and the English Language” as binding law, but I don’t believe anyone could benefit from it more.

  4. Stephen M. Saintonge says:

            Thanks, Eric.  That needed to be said, and by someone like you.

  5. Oh, sure, Flint. Be all /reasonable/.

  6. Dave Freer says:

    Eric, the one thing I would ask you to add – before backing you to the hilt on this “That’s it. If you do that, it’s over.”
    is that
    “Retract the statement publicly and issue a simple and straightforward apology. ”

    Means “retract the statement and issue a simple and straightforward apology.”

    Not modify, not weasel, not “I’m sorry if it hurt your feelings”.

    That does not fix.

    • Eric Flint says:

      I agree, Dave. A real apology means “I’m sorry I said that.” Not “Gee, I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.” [Left unsaid: “But I didn’t do anything wrong, you thin-skinned jerk.”]

      It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to involve any self-flagellation. You don’t have to explain why you said what you’re now apologizing for. But you do have to apologize for it and you do have to retract it.

      It’s not really that hard. Any person who’s married has learned how to do it — or they’re not going to be married for very long.

      • Dave Freer says:

        (nod) Your apology to me – many years ago -was simple, honest and completely accepted, and was the foundation of why I regard you as a friend who I defend and trust. You may have forgotten it, but I have not. :-)

      • Rob Fabian says:

        She did issue an “apology” today, apparently at the direct order of Tom Doherty. Unfortunately, she chose the “I’m sorry you were offended” route instead of an actual apology. I wish I could say that I was surprised.

        • Terry says:

          Isn’t there a difference between “I’m sorry if you were offended” and “I hurt people, and I’m sorry for that”? Gallo’s apology was of the second sort.

          I understand that some people want Gallo to have to grovel and beg for her job. But that should not be required of an apology from anyone.

          • Her apology is something, but it only goes halfway. Until she retracts her statements, it’s no more than an “I’m sorry you feel that way” apology, not “I take responsibility for what I said, and it was wrong.”

          • Tully says:

            Her “apology” was of the “I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy me punching you in the face” sort. In other words, it wasn’t an apology at all.

          • Pete M says:

            I’m not sure why begging or groveling should matter.

            She works for Tor Books in a senior capacity. She denigrated (at least by implication) Tor authors, including John C. Wright and Kevin Anderson. If I owned a publishing company, I’d expect my senior employees to refrain from denigrating our authors.

    • Terranovan says:

      I’ve come across a term in Wikipedia that sounds relevant to this discussion … “Non-apology apology” . I don’t know if it’s correct to apply this to Ms. Gallo’s apology,but it refers to an apology that refuses to admit guilt. An also-relevant proverb: “Never ruin a perfectly good apology with an excuse.”

    • Rick Boatight says:

      He claims she has apologized. If so it isn’t on her twitter or facebook.

    • Honestly, I find both Eric’s commentary and Doherty’s commentary to be a tall pitcher of ice-cold, refreshing, crystal-clear water, in an endless desert of rhetoric. Of which I’ve been on the receiving end (and, yes, occasionally, the giving end) for months.

      The one thing I can hope to add is: I never had much of a problem with anyone who could state a principled and reasoned position against the technical aspects of Sad Puppies 3, without turning it into a personal thing against myself or Larry Correia; as human beings.

      So, if I can claim to be disappointed by anything, it’s the rapidity with which Larry Correia and myself were made out to be the worst kind of cretins, and this message was broadcast using all the media apparatus our ad hominem detractors could muster. It didn’t matter if it was true or false. What mattered was the politics of personal destruction.

      Our mutual character — as human beings: Larry and myself, and also some other members of the Sad Puppies 3 slate — was trotted up to the social media guillotine. And our rhetorical heads came away from our necks.

      Conversely:

      I can parlay with Eric. Eric’s critical of Sad Puppies, without telling me I am a bad person. Eric knows me too well. It doesn’t mean he won’t get angry or tell me he thinks I am spouting garbage, but he won’t tell me I am flawed at the core, or that I am a moral or ethical scoundrel, just for doing something he thinks was stupid or incorrect or unhelpful or wrong.

      Why was it so fantastically hard for so many Sad Puppies critics to address the mechanism, without making it ad hominem against the man?

      This is probably one of those “Human nature, forever thus” things.

      • snowcrash says:

        Well said Brad. I hope that you will give Ms Gallo the same consideration as well, as I think people have let their tempers get the better of them far too often. It’s only natural, when they’ve seen their calleagues being attacked in, again, unnecessarily inflammatory terms like the following:

        http://madgeniusclub.com/2015/04/13/nostradumbass-and-madame-bugblatterfatski/#comment-55499

        or when writers like Ann Leckie and John Chu are accused of benefiting from affirmative action, instead of the strength of their writing.

        Regardless, I think you’re right that it’s important to see those in the opposition as still being people, and not just tokens or targets of one’s ire.

        • James May says:

          We are not simply accusing them of anything. Did you think we got this out of thin air? They openly advocate affirmative action all the time. Once again the quotes run the spectrum of that SFF community and number in their hundreds. This is not my imagination; I have the actual quotes. They aren’t trying to hide the fact, why are you? It’s all on the net – just read them.

      • Mike says:

        Brad, I think part of the problem is that you were willing to turn it into a personal thing with all this talk of SWJs and CHORFs and the like. That’s the kind of thing that sounds funny when you are chatting about it with likeminded friends, but it’s also the kind of thing that escalates the rancor of the conversation.

        • Martin L. Shoemaker says:

          Brad did not invent the term SJW. This is a United Nations paper from 2001: http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/ASPA/UNPAN000572.pdf
          They coined the term proudly:

          “Ironically, there is a new warrior for our times; it is the social justice warrior. These warriors fight with words instead of weapons, and wage war within our society instead of on other shores. Taking a stand against the strong forces of the status quo, the new warriors step forth into a high risk environment to speak out against social injustices. These new social justice warriors separate themselves from the crowd by publicly exercising the right to free speech in order to right the social wrongs. With people like Mahatma Ghandi and Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. as examples, they speak out on behalf of poor and needy people, the afflicted, and those unfairly discriminated against because of their race, sexual orientation, or disability. At first, they fought for equity- to have the same procedures applied in the same way for all people. But now they speak interms of equality, questioning the disparate effects of these long-established procedures like the ones for funding school districts.

          Often claiming a moral authority as they speak, these warriors question the motives and moral integrity of those they oppose. Many of their opponents are the established governmental leaders of local communities, states or even the country; other opponents are the industrial and business leaders accused of polluting the air and land and getting special favors for their large campaign contributions. These warriors make accusations about the quid pro quos, the abuses of power and the excessive self-interests that cause social injustice.”

          Brad started with the term SMOF, but changed when some SMOFs objected that the hostile SMOFs did not speak to them.

          He changed to SJW — a term some of the antis wore proudly up until this — but then people accused him of using a pejorative term. And again, he did not invent it, and it was not originally a pejorative.

          So he invented the term CHORF because it was a brand new term with no past baggage. Now you complain about that.

          Pray tell: what term may Brad use without your objection?

        • IIRC, that was after the first round of libel from the other side.

          • Standback says:

            Possibly it was?
            But every time *anybody* does it, it only escalates the outrage. It’s a vicious cycle.

            It starts out with “liberal” or “conservative, ” or with “I didn’t like that book” and “this book should get a Hugo.”

            Pretty soon it’s SJWs and CHORFs and lying liars and racists and bigots and homophobes. And then, well, by this point it’s a culture war, so people on the other side are fighting against ME and that’s just a horrible thing to do, right?

            Which is how we get to people saying “those guys are a group of neo-Nazis” and considering that perfectly reasonable and appropriate.

            Pretty much any post saying “{Person/Group} are bad” will do little but fan the flames. Unfortunately the Internet is too damn big, and SOMEBODY’s always talking shit about SOMEONE. And the flames rise higher.

            Mr. Flint, you’re a rare island of sense and rationality in this whole mess. Thanks for being able to take each case as it comes, and calling for calm, not war. I wish we had more of you.

        • Which is why I suggested the term “Puppy Kickers” instead of CHORFs to Brad, and am glad it is catching on. It’s not a value judgement on the people involved; it just has an implication that they should stop their behavior.

          I was asked to be in an anthology where Vox was eventually dragged in as a potential writer, and I left when he started spewing about SJWs, but not before I told him it was a term I reuse to use as an epithet as it shuts down dialog. It’s basic a sales technique not to mentally shut down you listeners with epithets, doubly important when you are trying to sell an idea or discuss facts.

          Thank you, Eric, for an excellent post.

          • TK Davis says:

            “SJW” and “CHORF” and even “puppy-kickers” (I am no proponent of the Sad or Rabid Puppies campaign but imply that I kick puppies and you have a personal fight on your hands. I love my dogs) are all needlessly insulting. I, personally, do not think being a “social justice warrior” is bad but the sneering tone with which it is used and the shorthand for which it stands when used by a conservative do exactly what you say: it shuts down any chance of meaningful dialogue.

            I don’t cast insults about others (except Vox Day because fuck him with a cactus). The most I will say is that the Sad Puppies legally gamed the system but I find it sad that they are so unhappy that the awards are going to the “wrong” people (when really what they mean is that awards aren’t going to books they like as much as the fans that voted for them). So now the Sad Puppies have injected their own people, who are “the wrong people” to others because THEY don’t like those books as much as the Sad Puppies do, and used a slate mechanism which pretty much guarantees inclusion of the SP choices because no one else in sci-fi fandom can come to such a solid consensus on their own.

            You rigged the ballots and, yes, people are angry. Characterizing the leaders or members in sweeping terms is not right but neither is Tom Doherty calling out Irene Gallo in public (something he didn’t do for misbehaving male employees) seems like more proof that women really DO still have a tougher time of it in publishing and the world of sci-fi. It’s distressing.

            • Harmony says:

              If “SJW” and “CHORF” and even “puppy-kickers” is insulting what do you want to be called? Just let me know and I will switch to it.

              There are no rigged ballots, Larry and Brad just convinced people to sign up to vote (frequently for the first time) and since the the vote didn’t go Irene’s way they get called racist. Once you call a hispanic and a man married to a black woman racist reasoning with them is useless.

        • James May says:

          “SJW” is a term that has only come into vogue in a new sense very recently. It is a sarcastic reference to the wrong-way Orwellian anti-racist racist or anti-bigot bigot.

          Whether you agree with it or not, that’s how it’s used. Anyone who writes a post about white privilege which demonizes all white men on Earth who can’t figure out what “Jewish privilege” might be deserves the term, especially when they write it’s as “obvious” as “gravity.” You simply don’t talk about an entire ethnic group negatively as if they were a single shameful person.

          When John Scalzi writes it’s a “fact that a lot of male geeks are also emotionally immature,” what fact is that? Would that be compared to non-males? What percentage is “a lot?” Must be one if it’s a “fact.” Was it decided at birth that men were like that? Is that the same kind of fact that would prove black folks are lazy or Jews greedy? Turn this “fact” about men around and what do you get? Yeah, misogyny; the very principle Mr. Scalzi so often and ardently claims he is against.

          Let’s get real. Has any SP proudly declared they won’t review non-white women? No. Dress that up all you want, if you’re looking for a thing like a racial supremacist and racist, there it is right in front of you. Just ditch the excuses.

          Adopt a rule, any rule. I don’t even care what it is. Just one we can all live by. If you have a baseball game with a whirling strike zone people will be fighting before the first pitch. Without rules we have nothing as Americans.

          • Calbeck says:

            On “SJWs” and Reality:

            No matter if clear-headed people think a given term is pejorative and clouds attempts at rational discussion, it remains a fact that there are very strident people who do not WANT a discussion at all.

            In both the anti-Puppy and anti-GamerGate crowds, that mentality of “shut ’em down” exists: a key example would be a board member of the Society of Professional Journalists getting yelled at for “giving harassers a platform to attack their victims”.

            This is in direct response to a formal SPJ event planned for August where both GG and anti-GG people will be heard out by neutral journalists. It took little effort to round up a diverse panel of pro-GG people, but anti-GG has dug in their heels asserting “the fix is in” and “there is no debate to be had”. Their most prominent voices say nothing but “shut ’em down”.

            This has gone so far that a D.C. bar got a visit from the Metro Police, who had been tipped off about a bomb threat from the FBI. The threat, considered “credible” according to police, demanded a 300+ person get-together of GamerGate members be “evacuated in one hour, or the bombs will be detonated”.

            This is the kind of extremism which comes from painting GGers and Puppies as “racist, homophobic, sexist neo-Nazis” (which various people on this very comments section are busily defending as legitimate accusations).

            But let me tell you of an encounter I had last night, with someone at least willing to talk. He insisted that GG is guilty of harassing women out of their homes, and I asked if he could substantiate that. He could not — everything was based on assumptions, leaps of logic, and hearsay — and so I told him I have a long history of debunking conspiracy nuts since the ’80s, as kind of a hobby.

            “So I have to ask you this,” I said, “does your argument really boil down to saying ‘isn’t it obvious’?”

            “Well,” he responded, “of course it is!”

            “That,” I told him, “is what every Moon Hoaxer, UFO Nut, JFK Assassination Theorist, and 9/11 Truther I have ever run into end up saying. Why should I believe you and not them?”

            He cut off our conversation as “unproductive” at that point, but didn’t tag me out when someone else chimed into the discussion. To that person, he argued that “as a white male, I cannot possibly understand or interpret the experiences of a woman”. This was his basis for not questioning anything he was told, and is a common mentality amongst people who describe themselves as “social justice warriors”.

            They do exist, they do not want to talk, and they do not hear what does not match their existing prejudices. SF/F is supposed to be better than that.

            • Terranovan says:

              I’m enough of a 1632 fan that if I read the acronym “GG”, I think it stands for “Grantville Gazette”. :-)

              • Bibliotheca Servare says:

                Lol, I saw “Good Group” from MMO random dungeon groups raids. Then I looked it up. I haven’t played videogames (aside from the occasional mobile game) for years, and I’m *still* a gamer nerd, on top of all my other strands of nerdiness. /headdesk.
                Anyway, that was well written, Calbeck. ;-)

            • TK Davis says:

              If your position is that adherents to the GamerGate name have not harassed women such as Anita Sarkeesian and Briana Wu (and of course Zoe Quinn) in atrocious ways then what you are really saying is that when these women claim to have been harassed that either 1) they lied about it, or 2) the people doing the harassing were not GamerGaters. When the fact that Baldwin came up with the GG name while capitalizing on the “Five Guys” meme and sharing links to Quinn’s nude shots. Ethics in gaming journalism? Where?

              What a crock.

      • Mariah Maloy says:

        In my somewhat short 49 years, I have found that the self-proclaimed Liberals are always ready to be hateful; with my first experience being about 14 years old and being told, by an adult, I was Evil because my parents were going to vote for Reagan. The stories I could tell, and so I don’t talk politics with most of my friends because I don’t want to lose them.

        Thank you, Mr Flint, for not being hateful.

        Have a Lovely Day, Y’all!

        • Trevor says:

          See, I can say just the opposite. In my shorter 36 years, I find conservatives to be the first to slander and call my an intolerant bigot when I don’t support their “right” to discriminate.

          I get called it all the time when I challenge conservatives who support discrimination against homosexuals by not allowing same sex marriage.

          So basically, what you’re trying to do is tar all liberals with that brush, when most people on the opposite side would say the exact same about those who disagree with them. To that I say, please attempt to elevate the discourse, instead of do what you just did.

        • Carol Gibson says:

          And this right here is part of the problem. The labeling of an entire group as bad and then saying but you are different from the rest.

          I seriously doubt you have interacted with every liberal to form the opinion that all liberals are hateful.

          I am older by a few years than you and I am self proclaimed liberal and I have many friends who are conservative.

          I have been attacked by some hateful people who just happen to be conservative because I am disabled and on SAID they feel free to call me names like leech, and lazy.

          They to put it bluntly are assholes I certainly don’t tar and feather all conservatives for what the fact that some are jerks.

        • James May says:

          This is not a problem with liberalism. There is no such thing as a good liberal patriarchy, misogyny, rape culture and white male gaze and a bad conservative one.

      • Carol Gibson says:

        So basically the excuse is the age old he started it first mom.

        It doesn’t really matter who started it first people on both sides have said some appalling things and allowed this to become a nasty blight on fandom.

        • Bibliotheca Servare says:

          “…People on both sides have said some appalling things…”
          To be brief? Balderdash. Also “bunkum” and “utter hooey” with a sprinkling of “horse hockey!” (Col. Potter from “MASH” introduced me to that delightful non-vulgar epithet…Col. Potter rocked.) on top of that.
          People on “both sides” have absolutely *not* said “appalling things.” Or rather, I suppose that statement depends on what your definition of “appalling” is. My definition leads me to feel that the term (as an earlier poster demonstrated, one that originates from within their own ranks) SJW is in no way as despicably “appalling” a term to use in describing one’s opponent as “Neo-Nazi” is. The same with “CHORF” (nowhere near as appalling as Neo-Nazi). Indeed, if you can demonstrate even *one* occasion when the organizers and authors behind/supported/promoted-by “The Campaign To Prevent Puppy-Related Sadness (2015)” have used any term, or made any allegation, or applied any label that is even in the blasted *vicinity* of being as “appalling” as those labels, terms, etc that have been used by the “Puppy Kickers” (and, though he may disagree with “us” -inasmuch as there *is* an “us”- Mr. Flint is most assuredly *not* a “Puppy Kicker.” He is, if anything, a most respected, honorable, civil voice of disagreement.) to denigrate, defame, and sully the names of the aforementioned organizers, beneficiaries (regardless of active or passive participation) and major supporters of “TCtPP-RS” (“The Campaign To Prevent Puppy-Related-Sadness”) as authors, fathers, wives, husbands, indeed, to sully their very worth as human beings…I will *consider* the possibility that you are not spouting sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, condescending *nonsense* when you say that “…both sides…” have been guilty of equally atrocious and childish behavior, and made equally appalling statements (labels, terms, etc) regarding their opponents. Actually, if you can do that, I’ll temporarily change my handle on this site (3 months sound fair?) to “Contritely Pompous Lackwit” as a demonstration of my shock and consternation. I’ll do it gladly. Just remember, though you may disagree, Theodore Beale is most assuredly *not* one of the “organizers and authors behind/supported/promoted-by ‘The Campaign To Prevent Puppy-Related Sadness (2015)'”. Regardless of what some…lovely, in no way asinine or utterly, unjustifiably rude…conspiracy-theory building individuals might have written on their (equally lovely) blogs about the ” ELoE’ (“Evil League of Evil”) and how its (totally not sardonic or obviously a running gag) “existence” (in quotes because it’s too silly to not emphasize the silliness) “proves” (same reason for quotes) that Theodore Beale was (and is) an integral organizing and supporting member/leader (“even if not openly!!11!!” -exclamation points and “ones” mine…the rest is real…as laughable as that is-) of “The Campaign To Prevent Puppy-Related Sadness (2015)” and as such all the other “members” of the “ELoE” are just as guilty of the statements he makes, and opinions he holds, as he is for making/holding those statements/opinions. Loooooong sentence. *inhales* So…keep that in MIMD when searching for vile statements by “TCtPP-RS” organizers, authors etc. His blog is not the place to go.

          PS: Mr. Flint…thank you for writing this. I would say more (I think I’ve demonstrated a tendency towards long-windedness, heh) but Mr. Butcher and Mr. Torgersen said it perfectly. Uncle Eric indeed. Bless you, sir. ;-D

  7. Stevie says:

    Eric

    It wasn’t made whilst you were at the Nebulas, in fact it was a month earlier. VD deliberately waited to use the screenshot a month later because he wanted to smear the Nebula winners.

    And if someone with your brain hasn’t noticed that little sleight of hand then it’s unsurprising that many others didn’t notice it either.

    If you care to consult File770 you will see that Mike contacted VD to ask why he’d been sitting on the screenshot for so long. His response is certainly illuminating, though exceedingly unpleasant.

    • Eric Flint says:

      I did notice the posted date and I wondered about it. But since everyone was acting as if the statement had just been made, I assumed the posting was incorrect.

      In any event, the specific date the statement was made isn’t really that important.

  8. Jonna Hayden says:

    Thank you, Mr. Flint, for this. We’re not even remotely of the same political persuasion (and I think we’d have a blast arguing), but I can certainly respect your commitment to your philosophy. I’m with David Freer on this one. Ms. Gallo needs to apologize, and not buried deep in some thread on Facebook.

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      Hear hear.

    • TK Davis says:

      She made the original comment on her Facebook page. Not sure why, when someone dug her statement from her personal page to begin with that her apology can’t go there as well.

      Also: Vox Day. How he does love to stir that pot for his own amusement.

  9. Actually, you read one other short piece, Eric, but it was years ago and somewhat different. No matter; if the Hugo was paper it would save me about 2 cents in toilet paper costs. Were interest a liquid, mine wouldn’t fill a thimble. And crap like Irene Gallo posted has made me actively want to see her and some others get their wish, to have the awards all “no awarded,” and thus to see the award destroyed. (Because the young canines _will_ reciprocate, with interest).

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      Mr Kratman…I feel a quote from John Ringo’s “Ravencon AAR” is most apropos here. That being “Genghis Kratman.” (In a good way…if there is such a thing as a bad way to take being called “Genghis”…probably not, I should think) Toilet paper indeed! Thanks for making me laugh, even after having my wisdom teeth yanked and stitches in my mouth. It hurts, but it’s a *good* pain! ;-D

  10. Pat Patterson says:

    @Stevie, you are correct, but are you trying to make a point, or just identifying an error in the chronology? The original post was, in fact, May 11, but only went viral this weekend.

  11. snowcrash says:

    Hi Mr Flint

    Just wanted to mention a couple of things:

    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”?)

    Actually, the comment in question was made last month (May 11th), and as Vox Day (as per his own words (http://file770.com/?p=23024) ) was holding them back, presumable as a measure to dial-up the outrage on the Nebula weekend.

    I also think that her reference to bad-to-reprehensible works to me struck as a reference to the slated items alone, not to all the nominees.

    Having said that, I agree the that her comment, on her personal FB page a month ago, was poorly worded and painted a variety of people with too wide a brush, and in terms that were needlessly inflammatory.

    She has since admitted that error, and apologised on her self same FB page, and Tom Doherty has issued a statement on Tor.com.

    I’m sure that many will feel that her apology doesn’t go far enough in abasing herself, or that Tor should take harsher action.

    • Eick Boatright says:

      wgt yes, I do think she didn’t go far enought.

      what she posated is the worst sort of non-apoloogy of the “Im sorry if you were offen ded by what I said” without retracting her words nor apologising for saying them.

    • Kazriko says:

      I believe of the novels that Eric listed, Skin Game and The Dark Between the Stars were on the SP3 slate, so the arguments regarding those would still apply.

      • snowcrash says:

        Enh, That may be some level of subjectivity there. I know some people found Dresden’s attitude in Skin Game problematic, but meh. I found it (the book) good and highly readable, but definitely not the best Dresden (Dead Beat!) or the best Butcher (Codex Alera!)

        KJA I won’t say anything too honest, for fear of offending OGH. But he has certainly put out stuff that I would call bad.

        Regardless, as per her apology, at least Ms Gallo has acknowledged that she was too hyperbolic in her statements.

        • Sorry, I didn’t see an apology. I saw a comment that she didn’t MEAN for us to get upset at being called Nazis. Where is the apology?

          • snowcrash says:

            About my Sad/Rabid Puppies comments: They were solely mine. This is my personal page; I do not speak on behalf of Tor Books or Tor.com. I realize I painted too broad a brush and hurt some individuals, some of whom are published by Tor Books and some of whom are Hugo Award winners. I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.

            In the above, Ms Gallo: 1. Took responsibility for her actions, 2. Acknowledged her mistake, 3. Apologized for those she hurt. (also 1.5 – indemnified her employer, which any HR would have insisted on!)

            I’ve seen actual fauxpologies – ie weaselly terms like “oh if I offended anyone” or “mistakes were made”. This isn’t it. She’s owned up, and admitted that people were hurt by her actions.

            I suspect that what you want is some further form of abasement, or what Brad Torgersen calls hiding a joy buzzer.

            • I’m afraid I disagree. I am not affiliated with either the Sad Puppies or the Rabid Puppies, so I could not be hurt by her statement. I could however be deeply offended by her cavalier use of the term neo-Nazi. So she did not apologize to those like me on the sidelines. I was also offended that she called the women of Sad Puppies misogynists. That was either colossally stupid or irredeemably nasty. As for her so-called apology, in effect she said “I was a little over the top and wasn’t speaking for my employer, and so sorry if what I said hurt you.” That is neither a retraction nor an apology that reaches everyone who was offended by her terminology.

              • snowcrash says:

                “I was a little over the top and wasn’t speaking for my employer, and so sorry if what I said hurt you.”

                If she had said that, that would have been a non-apology, and I would be gravely disappointed . But she did not. She didn’t weasel her way out by saying “*if* anyone was offended”. She owned up that her words hurt people, and apologised to them.

                Pushing this line that it was a non-apology indicates to me that you don’t really understand what a non-apology is, or that you are doing what Brad Torgersen described as exploiting an apology for further attack.

            • Rick Boatright says:

              I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with your take on her apology.

              I’ll give you (1) that she took responsibility for her actions. Clearly, she did, as you said, thus saving her job.

              In regard to (2) acknowledging her mistake, I’m afraid not. She said ” I painted too broad a brush and hurt some individuals, some of whom are published by Tor Books and some of whom are Hugo Award winners. At its most generous, this says that there are some in the puppies effort who are right wing extremist, neo-nazi racist homophobes, but not all of them, specifically, not the ones published by Tor or who are Hugo winners.

              In regard to (3) we have I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments. Please note the difference between that and “I apologize for making those incorrect and offensive statements.”

              What she said was that she apologised to the people who where HURT by what she said. She didn’t say “I apologize for what I said.” — very different.

              Thi is not a “class one” weasel word apology, it’s better than that, but it is clearly a “class two” weasel word, rather than a decent public “falling on my sword” apology stating in public “I was wrong.”

              I know all about the latter. Feel free to google examples of my fixing my public stupidities.

              -_ Rick

              • snowcrash says:

                “At its most generous, this says that there are some in the puppies effort who are right wing extremist, neo-nazi racist homophobes, but not all of them”

                To be entirely honest, there is a reasonable arguement to be made that this is not incorrect. You just have to google some of the more egregious statements by Vox Day, & John C Wright.

                They’ve both made statements that are homophobic and misogynistic, and Day has also made some clearly racist statements (as Eric notes in his OP).

                As such, Ms Gallo may simply be being honest when she acknowledges that she has painted too broad a brush.

              • Max says:

                Yes, it does imply that there are some puppies who are neo-Nazis. And she’s not wrong. From Vox Day’s blog, per Mamatas:

                a. that different “races” are subspecies and that mixing them tends to spark civilizational collapse, http://voxday.blogspot.co.il/2013/06/mailvox-time-preferences-and.html

                b. that the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn of Greece the lesser evil as compared to mainstream pro-EU parties, http://voxday.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-new-dawn-rising.html

                c. regarding Jews, that [t]oo many of us know how the game is played; too many of us have seen incompetent, inept, and lazy Jews advanced in tribal fashion over far more capable, competent, and responsible Gentiles. http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/08/and-why-might-that-be.html

                A literal neo-Nazi? No. Views that are very, very close to those of literal neo-Nazis? Yes.

  12. Chris Backus says:

    You mention that this damages your side of the argument, but don’t you see, it doesn’t just damage your side of the argument, it completely validates the Sad Puppy case. Every editor for Tor who has spoken (not counting Tom Doherty’s response which was neutral to conciliatory) has been against the Sad Puppies, where this one is vicious, reprehensible, and clearly untrue.

    So, is there bias or is there not?

    • Eric Flint says:

      I will answer your question in my next post and show how… um (be diplomatic, Flint, be diplomatic…) it is completely irrelevant.

      Beyond that, as is always the case with the Sad Puppies and their supporters, you seem to be constitutionally incapable of telling the difference between “bias” and “disagreement.” Simply because someone tells you that you are wrong — even in harsh language — does not mean that they are “biased.” It simply means that they think you are wrong.

      I did not criticize Irene Gallo because she stated (as harshly and nastily as she felt like) that the Sad Puppies were wrong in their analysis of what happens with the Hugo Awards and were being pigheadedly stupid in their approach. I have and will continue to say that myself. What I criticized her for was her actual BIAS, which was her statement that the Sad Puppies were — to quote her — unrepentantly racist, sexist and homophobic when she had no evidence supporting the statement but was operating solely based on her belief (that is to say, her bias) of what right-wingers “must” really believe.

      If you can’t see the difference, that’s not my problem.

      • Eric: See my comment below about deliberate dishonesty from deliberate misquotes of my work.

        They are dishonest. It is a fact.

      • Calbeck says:

        Here is part of the reason I’ve become involved in Sad Puppies and the Hugos. This is directly from David Gerrold’s current Facebook page:

        “The chief architect was Vox Day. He brought in gamergaters to vote for his rabid puppy slate. He told them to vote for the candidates on his slate as a way to stick it to the establishment, not because any of them were award-worthy.”

        There is simply not enough facepalm for this. It’s Pure, 100%, Grade AAA Horseshit. “Stick it to the establishment?” F***ing REALLY?

        We don’t care what’s “establishment” or not… but use of that term suggests this tripe came not from anyone who knows any GamerGate members, but someone who authentically believes GG is about burning down establishments just ’cause, y’know, fire is cool huhuhuhuuhuhuh.

        And we DIDN’T care about the Hugos until people started blaming us for their outcome and whipping up even more press about how we’re all supposed to be a bunch of sexist racist homophobic white male assholes. I’d suggest that anyone who finds the taste of crow delicious show up at the August event of the Society of Professional Journalists down in Florida. Anyone who likes being laughed at can use the “bunch of sexist racist homophobic white male assholes” at that time; points if you can keep a straight face while doing it.

        For this crap alone, Gerrold owes ME a goddamn apology.

    • Indeed. Every statement out of Tor employees proves they do have a personal bias, and strongly suggests that it was an organized bias, since they were apparently aware BEFORE the Hugo announcements of who was on the ballot.

      This doesn’t mean the committee was dishonest, and I’m sure, from my dealings with them, that they are absolutely above board and of the highest integrity.

      What is suggests is they spoke amongst themselves about who of their expected nominees had not been informed.

      Add to that Mr Gerrold commenting that he was “looking forward” to congratulating Connie Willis on yet another award.

      This does not prove complicity, but it does strongly suggest an incestuous in-group.

      And back to the root point–TNH made a deliberate point of combing through my snark to find out of context comments to call me a “homophobe” when anyone who knows me is aware I’m exactly the opposite.

      So yes, their behavior does prove a bias based on (perceived) politics rather than writing quality.

      Game, set, match.

      • Jason says:

        Except David Gerrard never said that as he posted below. Hope you do the right thing and apologize . . .

        • Yes, he did. It’s entirely possible he edited the post after the fact, but he went on a long rant about how much he’d been looking forward to the Hugos, and now they were ruined by those conservatives, and maybe he wouldn’t do it after all, and perhaps he’d get gay cooties all over the statues (his words).

          • Tibicina says:

            Ummm. What he actually said about Connie Willis was that he had looked forward to asking her to hand out the Campbell award, but she felt the need to decline. I suspect you are either misremembering or conflating, though if I were to go by your example of how you treat other people, we could call game, set match here to show that you are a biased liar.

            Perhaps you should apologize unless you have some sort of record that shows you are not just remembering what you want to remember instead of what actually happened.

          • snowcrash says:

            Posts edited in Facebook will actually 1. have a label “Edited” on them, and 2. Show the prior versions – you just have to click the Edited label to see the history of edits.

            Uhm, Yahtzee?

          • jason says:

            As someone posted earlier: “deliberate dishonesty from deliberate misquotes . . . They are dishonest. It is a fact.”

      • James says:

        Alas, Connie Willis wasn’t even nominated for a Hugo this year, so, how could Mr. Gerrold have stated what you’re attributing to him?

        • Yes, that is the question, isn’t it?

          • Michael Smith says:

            Clearly, the answer is that Williamson’s claim is a fabrication.

          • Mark Ramsey says:

            Mr. Williamson, you have erred with regards to Mr. Gerrold. He did not in fact make the statement you have attributed to him. You are of course free to entertain your conspiracy theories but please have the decency to not invent evidence to support them. As per your own stated moral code, this is the moment in which you issue a true apology and not a “weasel” apology or further excuse your mistake with additional lies.

      • Billy Coley says:

        I have had a lot of posts from both sides pop up on my newsfeed in the last few months. I have been reading posts for both sides and which side I come down on was decided by what came from each side, not what they said about each other. The problem I have had the most (other than the overall grammar school feel of the whole situation) is the fact that there is a lot of unneeded venom coming from both sides. There are people on both sides being, to be blunt, asshats. Slinging venom, distorting facts/quotes/etc, or outright lying.. and then yelling that, “(even though I am doing it) the other side is doing it so it proves I am right”

        Does it define the whole of both sides? No. But what is telling (again going by what has come across my newsfeeds) that there are fewer on one side that have been trying to separate themselves from the extremes.

        (disclosure: I am a new Hugo voter.. and even though I have submitted my ballot, I still have avoided any list of slates.. there have been a few of the nominees that have been mentioned individually in various places, but overall, I still have no clue whether the nominees I voted for were any any slate or not (unless there was a mention in the voting packets themselves). I voted purely on the merits of the works themselves.)

  13. Very well written piece, I agree with Dave Freer also. But I disagree about Anderson, I like his stuff. Thanks for posting this, you are one of the voices for sanity in this business, and I appreciate that.

  14. Actually, Gallo didn’t make this statement while you were at the Nebulas this weekend. She made it nearly a month ago, buried within a conversation on her Facebook wall. (The screencap of her FB comment is dated May 11, IIIRC.)

    Vox Day has confirmed (his statement is featured on File 770 today) that he saw the comment when it was made several weeks ago and that he held onto this “ammunition” until he was ready to use it.

    For whatever reason, this happened to be the weekend that VD chose to draw attention to the comment. (Perhaps because he it was a slow day for his outrage machine, and so he needed to fall back on old scraps to manufacture some more? Perhaps to distract focus from announcement of Nebula winners? Perhaps because the moon is in Aquarius and Sirius aligns with Mars? Who the hell knows?)

    • Oops, I see this info was already posted above. Never mind.

    • When it was made is irrelevant to the fact it was made.

      • Terry says:

        Well, no, actually, it’s not. If anyone actually was hurt by the statement, in any way, shape or form, the hurt would have taken place at the time the statement was first published. Further publication of the statement by Vox Day makes HIM the one responsible for the damages that arise from the dissemination of what he terms a libel. (It’s actually not, but no real need to go all legal on you about it.) You don’t get to hit yourself in the head with my baseball bat and then claim that your concussion resulted from my ownership of the baseball bat with no additional agency by any other actor.

        • Kevin Marks says:

          Wrong, Terry. Incredibly poor analogy, for one thing. More importantly, you’re trying to whitewash the fact that Gallo said what she said, period.

          Williamson prevails. He’s right.

        • Richard Hartman says:

          The hurt does not take place when it was published. The hurt takes place when it comes to our attention. Why VD didn’t circulate it earlier? I don’t know. And I don’t care. When I read the posting, however, I was incredibly offended. When it was originally written has no bearing upon that.

          • Lenora Rose says:

            The hurt would not have happened, period, without Day’s intervention. And I am fairly sure him putting it forth on the weekend when the Nebulas were awarded, the awards given by the SFWA, aka a group from whom Day is the second member ever to be forcibly ejected, is non-coincidental. Certainly, whatever his actual intent, the result was to drown out the triumph of those award winners. (of course, that’s another award he thinks is excessively biased towards liberals…)

        • Harmony says:

          Having a high level TOR editor expound her views against the SP group is damaging to the authors involved even if only a small group of her coworkers see it. I admit TOR publishing didn’t take the hit until the quote went viral thanks to Vox. In this case forcing a apology out of her might at least reign in the vitriol.

      • Carol Gibson says:

        I disagree if he was so outraged and offended why wait to speak up about it? Vox Day is a consummate troll he lives to stir outrage and that is exactly what he has done.

        And no this is not a whitewash of Gallo. I find what she said to be highly inappropriate and unprofessional.

  15. Lenora Rose says:

    @ Pat Patterson Re Stevie’s comment: I also think it’s worth noting that it went viral this weekend because someone who took a screenshot of it when it was two hours old chose to release it to his followers this weekend. I won’t speculate on Day’s motives, because he hasn’t said anything other than that he “doesn’t use all his ammunition at once” (paraphrased), and it doesn’t make Gallo’s words any nicer or more appropriate (yes I do feel the apology she has now issued was right and necessary), but it does suggest they might have vanished without comment or impact had he not brought them up.

    • Rick Boatight says:

      Where is the apology?

      • Mary Frances says:

        In the comments on her FaceBook page, which is where the original comment was–same thread, I believe. It seemed an appropriate venue for an apology to me, for that reason: Gallo didn’t take the original comment (and it was a comment, a response to a question, not a post) viral, after all.

        • Can you quote the apology for those of us who can’t see it, being prohibited from it?

          When it applies to us?

          • Mary Frances says:

            It’s up on File 770, along with a copy of Tom Doherty’s open letter–with the relevant links, too, I believe. I’m pretty sure the FaceBook thread is still public, too, as it was originally.

            • Yes, but a number of us were blocked on FB when we (at first, politely), asked her to retract the comment, only to be met with the morally corrupt response of “Kitteh?” and a cat picture.

              Being still blocked, we cannot see it.

              As I was taught, as a youth and in the military, an apology should, if possible, be addressed individually. As the names of the Puppy nominees are very publicly available, that is how it should be addressed.

              Do you have a link to the F770?

              Others have said it was a very shallow non-apology. I’d like to see for myself.

              • Mary Frances says:

                Well, I’ll try–but I usually have no problem getting to File 770 just be googling “File 770” or “File 770.com” and clinking on the first hit. But anyway: link.

                If I’ve messed up the link, I apologize–I’m really very good at embedding links. Maybe someone else ecould try?

              • Mary Frances says:

                Oh, dear–three different typos in the previous message, including leaving on the “not” in the final sentence (as in “I’m not very good at embedding links”). I’m also obviously not very good at proofreading before posting . . .

              • Tracy says:

                “the morally corrupt response of “Kitteh?” and a cat picture.”

                There is nothing morally corrupt about cat pictures. Nor is there anything morally corrupt about the word “kitteh”. That you think there is . . . wow. Just, wow.

              • Reality Observer says:

                Well, it’s the top post (30 seconds ago, anyway). Quote:

                “About my Sad/Rabid Puppies comments: They were solely mine. This is my personal page; I do not speak on behalf of Tor Books or Tor.com. I realize I painted too broad a brush and hurt some individuals, some of whom are published by Tor Books and some of whom are Hugo Award winners. I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.”

                As noted – one of those “I’m sorry I called you a bastard, even though you are one.” type of apologies.

                Sorry, Eric, but it looks like the poo is still going to fly for a while yet.

              • Mike says:

                Here is the F770 thread:

                http://file770.com/?p=23028&cpage=1#comments

                The quote is, “About my Sad/Rabid Puppies comments: They were solely mine. This is my personal page; I do not speak on behalf of Tor Books or Tor.com. I realize I painted too broad a brush and hurt some individuals, some of whom are published by Tor Books and some of whom are Hugo Award winners. I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.”

                Which is a bit different from the kind of response that the OP here suggested, but I expect that it will be the extent of the reply.

              • ” I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.”

                Oh, fuck, no. That is not an apology. “My comments were out of line, and I should not have made them” is an apology.

                “I’m sorry you’re unhappy I called you a nazi” is not an apology.

                How about (strictly hypothetically, this is to prove a point), I call you a “child molesting cunt” and then say, “I’m sorry you were upset by my comments”? All good?

                As to the “Kitteh” posts, let me elaborate, since you seem to have missed the point.

                “Neo-nazi.”

                “Excuse me, I object to being called a neo-Nazi.”

                “Kitteh?”

                It is dismissive, and proves she stood by the statement even when challenged.

                Her non-apology likewise.

              • Tracy says:

                (This is actually a reply to your comment below, which won’t let me reply directly to it.)

                I looked back at the original Facebook thread, and it looks like Ms. Gallo started posting cat pictures when people (including you) suddenly showed up en masse, demanding to know why she’d called Jim Butcher and Kevin J Anderson “nazis”. Which . . . she didn’t. Just being on a slate does not indicate a person is a puppy, first of all. (And I don’t recall either of them cheering on Vox, so why would anyone assume they were Rabid Puppies? Why would anyone assume you were a Rabid Puppy?) And what she said was that the puppies ran a gamut that included apparent neo-nazis on the Rabid side (which seems like a valid assessment of Vox Day to me), which certainly didn’t read to me like she meant that all of the Puppies were neo-nazis, or all of the candidates on the slates were neo-nazis.

                Cat pictures usually cause people to relax, (and mutter things like “kitteh!”, which causes further relaxation), which I suspect is why she started posting them when a bunch of screaming people suddenly descended out of nowhere on a month-old Facebook post, yelling about how she’d called a bunch of people nazis.

                If you don’t like her apology, that’s your business. If you read her words as calling you a nazi, all I can say is that I read the same post and I didn’t see that at all. If she’d announced that Michael Z. Williamson was a neo-nazi, I’d think your demand for a personal apology was valid. As it stands right now, your absolute certainty that you were called a nazi seems unsupported to me. (And your complaint that she failed to apologize for calling you a nazi kind of assumes that she believes she did call you a nazi, by the way. If she doesn’t, then “I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments” seems perfectly appropriate, in my view.)

                And cat pictures are never, ever, ever a morally corrupt response to anything. I think the vitriol right now could do with quite a few more cat pictures. People really need to calm down, and cats are adorable.

            • Kevin Marks says:

              Tracy, please give it up. Your logic, such as it is, fails on its face. We get that you want to defend Gallo and minimize the damage she has done—and continues to do—to herself. Fine. But please stop with your reassurances to all of us that, um, “it’s raining”….

              • Carol Gibson says:

                And it seems to be that you refuse to see anything that does not totally obliterate Gallo as white washing.

  16. Calbeck says:

    Allow me to speak here as a long-time SF/F fan who is also a member of the #GamerGate movement.

    I won’t preach about our own positions and whatnot, because that’s irrelevant here. What IS relevant is that Ms. Gallo is not the first to make the claim of our movement being in some part responsible for the success of the Puppies; in fact, others have asserted so much as that the SP slate could not have passed without “importing” co-opted GGers.

    The reality is, the Hugos were not remotely on the GG radar at the time of the nominations. A few Pups had shown up and pointed out the controversy, but they were not exactly zealous in trying to enlist our help, nor were we interested in signing on to shift our energies towards a fight that had nothing to do with ethics in games journalism. That is because our general rule is “#GamerGate is not your personal army”, a point we have made to other celebs who have tried to enlist us for their unrelated political wars (ex: David Draiman, who wanted us to endorse Israel against Palestinians).

    That position of neutrality on the Hugos changed when major news outlets began reporting — at face value — the same talking-points Ms. Gallo spat out, including the one about collusion, which surprised the hell out of us. All the usual nonsense about all of us being “extreme right-wing racists trying to stop progressive thought” were trotted out, with some pundits going straight for the “neo-nazi” pole. One guy in particular referred to #GamerGate and the Puppies in toto as “Panzergroup Asshole”.

    We have been getting lied about for most of a year now, non-stop, in the mainstream press, and now people like Ms. Gallo have been jumping the fence to take steaming rhetorical craps in our backyard. Since we have been forced to address and debunk various claims of harassment in the press, now we had this mess to clean up too, because WITHOUT doing so, we can’t get any traction for the actual issue of JOURNALISTS NEEDING TO BE HELD TO ETHICAL GORRAM STANDARDS.

    “No no, that’s all a smokescreen! You want women out of gaming!”

    Doesn’t that sound one helluva lot like “no no, you Puppies don’t want an open and inclusive award system for the Hugos, you just want to dial the clock back to the 1950s”?

    Mr. Flint, as I’ve said before, I have a lot of respect for your intellect. I hope you can see what’s going on here. No, not a “conspiracy” — just a whole lot of people whose notion of “social justice” has gone so far extreme that to them, there’s no such thing as a conservative who ISN’T a neo-nazi racist anti-feminist scumbag.

    • Johnny says:

      I have honestly never understood how a review of an indie game on steam mattered for “journalism ethics”. The gigantic overresponse- and the utterly inappropriate type of response of so many gaters- completely poisoned the well for me.

      • Calbeck says:

        Sounds like you got bad information.

        Usually, people who chew out GamerGate over this claim there was no review at all. And technically, that’s true. The article purported to cover fifty games which had just been “Greenlit” on Steam. It simply gave this one particular game top billing, worked its name into the article’s title, and used graphics from it — a text game, by the by — for the sole picture in the article.

        None of which would have been a big deal, except for the developer being a long-time friend of the reporter, the reporter’s name being in the game’s credits, and their relationship going sexual within a week of the article’s publication.

        There is a term in journalism called “quid pro quo”, and it’s a huge no-no… but the excuse, in this case, is that it’s “all about sex” (which, as already noted, it wasn’t).

        How did this explode into a “gigantic overresponse”? Because complaints about the matter were quickly deleted and people banned from the offending site’s forums. Then from the forums of other news sites where they went to complain about being banned for complaining.

        In all cases, it was claimed that having issues with this particular quid pro quo case meant you were harassing the developer, who herself had already been caught falsifying claims of harassment (which The Escapist Magazine later had to retract on that basis). This mentality went so far as one news editor demanding an editor-in-chief for a completely different site similarly shut down all such discussion on grounds that it was blanketly considered to be harassment. This was the point I personally took notice, as editors began declaring their sites “private property” (true) and that censorship doesn’t exist unless imposed by the government (malarkey).

        That’s what’s called “The Streisand Effect”: when an attempt at silencing discussion results in a snowballing of the matter as people react to what the general public considers censorship to actually be (regardless of the opinions of various news editors).

        So what you’re apparently concerned about isn’t the explosion over the affair itself, which was minor and probably would have fizzled on its own over the course of a few weeks. You’re annoyed by the reaction to mass-censorship and its exportation to sites the censors did not even have authority over but thought they could bully into following their lead.

        • James May says:

          I agree. Tor’s moderation policy together with its inflammatory articles amounting to racial incitement and things like “banhammers” have done as much to create this anti-intersectional movement as anything. If you stifle debate people will not only go elsewhere and create their own platforms but are going to be hopping mad.

        • TK Davis says:

          None of which explains why Quinn was the target and not the journalist. Why her sex life, when sex happened before the “review”, is anyone’s business.

          GamerGate also took umbrage at articles saying “Gamers are dead” which were meant to report on how the identity “Gamer” was no longer an insular, usually-young, usually-male demographic now that social media games had opened things up and more women from soccer moms to grandmothers to punk girls were playing. It was a celebration of diversification, not an ill-wish on the core young-white-male audience. But somehow this was seen as insulting and threatening and GG attacked.

          It’s ridiculous.

  17. Eric brought up something which might not get as much attention, but which I think is a very important piece of the puzzle: can an apology be made (in the current atmosphere) and be accepted sincerely, for being sincere? I’ve expressed to Eric privately that my trust in the sincerity of certain individuals (who I won’t name here) has been damaged almost to the point of no return. And that hurts me. I am, by nature, a trusting individual. Which tends to go hand-in-hand with loyalty. If a person — like Larry Correia — earns my loyalty and my trust, there is very little Larry could say or do that would upset me, and which a simple apology wouldn’t put right almost instantly.

    Because we live in the 21st century and our discourse is so thoroughly dominated by what we might call “news cycle style” argument tactics, trust gets washed down the toilet almost immediately. Because the point of the argument is not to persuade or reach an understanding — seal the breach, so to speak — it’s to score points and make hits; every sign of weakness given by the foe, must be exploited. For the spectator sport of it. Therefore an apology is going to be exploited for maximum damage effect. Apologies are weakness under the rules of “news cycle style” argument. So we are advised to never, ever apologize. Ever.

    And it’s true. I personally have experienced this. A recent apology on my part — not to Eric, this was a different individual — was exploited for maximum damage effect. “News cycle style” form was obeyed to a tee. Suffice to say, I am not sure I can ever trust that specific individual, because I’ve been shown (for not the first time) that as soon as I put a hand out, there is a joy buzzer hidden in the other guy’s palm.

    I think Eric would like to eliminate all joy buzzers.

    I think this is a grand sentiment. I would love for it to be so.

    But the people who consider joy buzzers essential to their modes and tactics, may not be so quick to give them up — and even then, there may be an endless array of joy buzzers, hidden in pockets.

    So, I tend to cherish people I can trust — and Eric is one of those, as is Kevin J. Anderson, and Larry Correia, and I would also include Dave Freer and Sarah A. Hoyt, as well as Mike Resnick; Mike’s critical of Sad Puppies too, believe it or not — but I am almost violently repelled by people I perceive to be in love with their joy buzzers.

    • Calbeck says:

      One thing I’m glad of is that here in the Hugos fracas, there are at least SOME neutrals whom both sides know and can trust. There is a chance for real dialogue and peace-brokering through those specific people… a chance, anyways.

      In the GamerGate fracas, virtually no such persons exist on either side, largely because when neutrals of some stature DO show up and offer to provide a ground for discussion, they come under near-rabid attack. Neutrality simply is not tolerated by certain folks: “if you don’t denounce X for crimes A, B and C, then you condone that behavior and are exactly like them and their allies!”

      I could get into more detail but won’t, sufficing to say that this has actually been a major source of recruitment for GG over the last several months. Nothing quite like being called an ultra-fascist out of the blue merely for not accepting one side’s claims as being 100% absolutely correct, after all.

      Here in the SP affair, that attitude seems relatively rare, and that’s a damned good thing.

    • snowcrash says:

      Unfortunately that is always true. There are already people (ie Dave Freer and Rob Fabian here) who have determined that Ms Gallo’s apology is insufficiently self-abasing, or that Tor should be harsher to her beyond a public disapproval of her statements.

      No doubt they think that they are right, just as I’m sure the those who exploited your prior apology thought that they were right in criticising the mode and nature of your apology. But sometimes it’s important to de-escalate. To be the better man.

      Some people will attack no matter what, but given your thoughts and experiences, Brad, I hope that you will accept Ms Gallo’s apology on it’s own terms, and disapprove of anyone who has a joy buzzer in their hands.

      • Martin L. Shoemaker says:

        You might want to scroll back in the comments. You’ll see that Eric also thinks her apology was insufficient. It was not “I was wrong,” it was “I’m sorry you think I was wrong.” That’s blameshifting from her to the readers and to her original targets.

        • snowcrash says:

          If you’re referring to the comment in reply to Dave Freer, I don’t think Mr Flint isn’t talking about Ms Gallo’s apology, he’s talking about how he sees an apology should be. I’m not sure if he’s seen Ms Gallo’s apology – I haven’t, I’m going by what Mike Glyer posted in his File770 article.

          I may be (and often am!) incorrect, and if so, I’m sure I’ll get dinged for it :-)

          • Martin L. Shoemaker says:

            I saw one from her earlier today that was definitely of the “I’m sorry you’re upset” sort. She may have made a better one since. I hope she has.

            • snowcrash says:

              Well, she apologised to those she offended, and acknowledged that she painted with too wide a brush.

              Insisting she goes beyond that comes close to what I call demands for further abasement and what Brad calls hiding joy buzzers, I think .

              • As I posted above:

                ” I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.”

                Oh, fuck, no. That is not an apology. “My comments were out of line, and I should not have made them” is an apology.

                “I’m sorry you’re unhappy I called you a nazi” is not an apology.

              • Richard Hartman says:

                She NEVER said that what she said was wrong. Only that it was too broad.

                To say that she painted with too broad a brush is to say that there are some people for whom that brush was — and still is — intended.

                So … she still believes that there are neo-Nazis involved, and that some of the works are still “bad-to-reprehensible”. Just not _all_ of them.

                Have I summarized accurately?

                If any of these things are true, she should name specific targets, so as not to use too broad a brush.

                If these things are NOT true, she should apologize for the STATEMENTS she made, not for our REACTIONS to those statements. Which, really, is all she did.

      • Reality Observer says:

        Well, this won’t do any good with you, snowcrash – I know you too well from other sites.

        But I just ran a thought experiment. I used to work for a manufacturer of irrigation equipment. They developed a pop-up sprinkler that was very resistant to impacts – such as from someone driving over them with a tractor.

        Now, if I had, on my *personal* social media, said “Hey, I am so proud to have had a hand in developing this sprinkler head! It will be especially welcome new for all of those golf course owners who deal with their stupid Mexican illegals!” Then apologized (*after* being called out for my blatant hate) with “I’m sorry I hurt the feelings of those poor stupid Mexican illegals.”

        Um. Escorted *out* of the building. They probably would have “forgotten” to open the glass doors first.

        There used to be something called professionalism. Apparently it has never been heard of at Tor, below the office occupied by Mr. Doherty.

    • Mark says:

      Brad, you metaphorically offended an entire room of people, then issued an apology to the guy who happened to be standing in front of you when you spoke, who was the least offended person in the room.
      Apologies go to the affected parties for the offense caused to them, not a convenient proxy.

      • BRT_admin says:

        Mark: are you the appointed spokesperson of this supposed room? Or is this merely another example of “news cycle” tactics, wherein the goal posts keep getting moved, so that your opponent can never be clean? There is never any reaching of any finish line? Your opponent crawls to the end zone, so you push the goal posts back 20 more yards, and tell your opponent he’s still not there yet.

        • Connie C says:

          As a lesbian, am is allowed to be a spokesperson for the room?

          Trying to insult someone by implying that their sexuality is not ‘right’ and then apologizing for that ‘insult’ means that my sexuality is so vile that using it to tar an opponent with is quite literally taking things too far. It’s such a nasty thing to call someone that you are embarrassed for having done so?

          Yes, I’m insulted by that. Comparison someone to me is the worst insult someone can think of? I’m insulted by the mindset that can make up CHORF and throw around SJW, but still feels comparing someone to me is so much worse of an insult that the person who was compared to me needs an apology, not for the misidentification, but because it was such a nasty insult.
          If I can’t speak for the room, I’ll speak for the part of it I’m standing in and say if I had valued his opinion I’d be hurt. As it is I’m insulted. P

          • Mark says:

            Admin for http://www.bradrtorgersen.com: what Connie C said. I can’t improve on it.

          • Calbeck says:

            Whenever someone insists that someone else “implied” an insult, it follows that they themselves “inferred” it. Because it is incredibly easy to infer insult from virtually anything, I am pre-disposed to dismiss such claims absent links to the offending material so I can see for myself what the ruckus is about.

            This is my mentality regarding James May, and it is my mentality regarding you. This is simply a matter of being considerate to all parties: I do not doubt that you are offended, but it is not incumbent upon anyone to blindly assume anyone is actually at fault for that.

            I find it more interesting that this entire thread of discussion is about attacking one apology as though this would in any way invalidate either his or Mr. Flint’s view of someone else’s apology. There is, indeed, no other particular reason to bring it up here except by way of trying to nullify that criticism, instead of addressing the criticism itself.

            • Connie C says:

              Well you seem to be offended by someone saying respectively, which I read as SP are extreme right-wing and RP are Neo-Nazis, and saying that no, obviously she meant to tar every single puppy as Neo-Nazis, not just the ring leader of the RPs. Her apology has been judged not good enough, not sincere enough, not groveling enough.
              As to links, I will invoke Mr. Flint’s magic word, Google. The ‘hurh, hurh,’ sexuality insult is out there and so is the apology to Mr. Scalzi for hitting below the belt. Comparing someone to people like me is hitting below the belt you see.
              But while you feel I have inferred the insult, in the apology, those attacking Ms Gallo seem to have inferred that she called every single puppy a neo-natzi, no matter what respectively usually means.
              So is the game that the side you identify with may only by their exact words’ dictionary meanings while impugning to the other side the most hurtful construction you can imagine?
              I know we all have observational biases, but that seems extreme.
              While someone can use pussy as an insult, and then claim they only called you a cat, as a woman I an going to think of them as a misogynistic asshole who insults women by reducing them to their genitalia.
              That being said you are welcome to think the same thing of me as I am currently thinking of your arguments, “Doesn’t get it and doesn’t want to.”

              • Calbeck says:

                “Well you seem to be offended by someone saying respectively, which I read as SP are extreme right-wing and RP are Neo-Nazis”

                Beyond the fact that Mr. Flint has already debunked both terms, there remains the reality that BOTH groups were tarred as “racist, sexist and homophobic” without any such “respective” differentiation… and Mr. Flint likewise chopped those claims to kibble.

                Ms. Gallo’s statement was broad-brushing, meant as such, meant to denigrate people via a pack of lies, and her apology addressed only “some individuals” who might in her estimation have been hurt by this in any way.

                Meanwhile, on this very forum we have one person after another leaping to Ms. Gallo’s defense for her original insults, claiming they were either partially or completely accurate.

                “Doesn’t get it and doesn’t want to” appears to be projection on your part.

      • Paul Birnbaum says:

        Mark:

        Ms. Gallo apologized “to anyone hurt by [her] comments” NOT “to the guy … who was the least offended.”

        It seems clear, or at least reasonable, to interpret “anyone hurt” as being “the affected parties.”

    • John Cowan says:

      Mr. Torgersen: I would call your attention to Aral Vorkosigan’s distinction between reputation and honor, and to Cordelia telling Miles that you apologize for the sake of your honor or not at all, both in A Civil Campaign. If an apology damages you in the eyes of those who have no honor themselves, so be it.

    • Paul Birnbaum says:

      Mr. Torgersen,

      Let me start by saying that I am of the camp who disagrees with your characterization of the state of the Hugo Awards as it relates to the SF/F market. I find abhorrent the tactics you and your associates have chosen to address your dissatisfaction, and some of the people with whom you’ve chosen to associate in order to effect your goals. I also think your movement has been co-opted by a much worse faction within your ranks.

      But that’s just for some background and an insight into my perspective. It’s not the point I wish to make here.

      Here, I would like to say that of all the posts I’ve read by you relating to the aftermath of the SP3/RP campaign, this one is one of the most reasoned, intelligent, and thoughtful.

      I agree with you whole-heartedly that today’s “news cycle style” of discussion, debate, and more importantly, resolving disagreement, treats an apology as a sign of weakness rather than what it ought to be: a genuine show of regret following an error in judgement.

      I agree with you that the world, and on a more micro level, our little community within it, could use a lot more reasonable discussion and a lot less “joy buzzers.”

  18. Tracy says:

    A point of clarification: Ancillary Justice, The Goblin Emperor, and The Three-Body Problem weren’t on any slates, Rabid or Sad.

  19. Thank you, Eric, for this post and for the manner in which you’ve done your disagreeing with the Sad Puppies campaign.

    For reference, here is what Ms Gallo posted in the way of apology, at ‹facebook.com/igallo/posts/10152728739637461?comment_id=10152796098467461›:

    About my Sad/Rabid Puppies comments: They were solely mine. This is my personal page; I do not speak on behalf of Tor Books or Tor.com. I realize I painted too broad a brush and hurt some individuals, some of whom are published by Tor Books and some of whom are Hugo Award winners. I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.

    Dave Freer and others have spoken about whether they consider this sufficient; but here at least is the text so everyone commenting can make up their own minds.

    • Calbeck says:

      Reading over it in context, my concern here is not so much the “I’m sorry if you felt hurt”, but “I’m sorry my brush was too broad”.

      The brush was “extreme right-wingers and neo-nazis”. As Mr. Flint has pointed out, NO persons of the latter description are involved in the SP/RP matter, and the former might apply to only one or two. The brush itself could not possibly have been narrowed to a point where it was appropriate to use at all.

      In this respect, it’s also telling that Ms. Gallo only thinks she harmed “some individuals” — as opposed to “the overwhelming membership of the groups whom she is speaking of”. This tells me, not through inference but through direct statement, that she still considers a group I personally am a member of to be full of “extremist right-wingers and neo-nazis”. If it is, I would like to know where the hell they have been hiding so successfully, with nary a peep, these last nine months.

      By at least one ANTI-GamerGate estimate, there are currently some 200,000 members… of which only “some individuals” AREN’T this horrible caricature of human beings presented by Ms. Gallo? I don’t think she has the slightest inkling of the sheer scale of offense she’s perpetrated.

  20. viktor says:

    Kratman: was that necessary?

  21. Mike says:

    Eric, I continue to be impressed with your opinions on this issue. Mostly I share them, but even when I don’t, you express them well.

  22. Stewart says:

    Eric —
    I have not read Ms. Gallo’s comments, other than what has been repeated here. I have read several of your books and have enjoyed then and what I suspect is an insight into your personal character through your characters.
    Like one of the other poster’s here, I suspect any political discussions would be lively (WEB DuHavel rolls up his sleeves).
    I have held several jobs in the past where personal views, when openly published or spoken, need to be clearly expressed as personal. When that was not done and a work connection was either expressed or implied, there were sometimes work related consequences (implication of being a corporate spokesperson, etc).
    I did read Mr. Doherty published comment. How he handles his employee is his business. In other fields it might lead to a “corporate re-assignment” or “retirement to pursue other interests” for the offending individual.

    Back to the Hugo’s / Nebulas / any other (insert here) awards.
    I care not what stickers / awards / accolades any book receives.
    When I pick up a book at Barnes & Nobles or read a e-Book version, if it catches my interest, I buy it and read it. That generally endorses my picking up other books by the same author.

    Just a few thoughts from a reader
    — Stewart

  23. Mr. Flint, thank you for your article and comments. I wish there was more such objectivity in this whole controversy. It might have been more easily resolved.

    I’ve just written an open letter to Tom Doherty in response to his letter on Tor.com today. You’ll find it on my blog. I’ll be interested to hear your reactions to it, and whether you think it’s fair or not. I do value your perspective.

    Thanks again.

    • Tracy says:

      Um . . . John Scalzi is a spokesperson for Tor? I can’t take something that makes such a ridiculous claim seriously, and I’d be surprised if Doherty felt any different. Such a bizarre claim makes it look like you don’t know what you’re talking about elsewhere (and to be frank, your open letter contains a wealth of references to your personal life, but basically nothing about the behavior you think should be condemned in the Nielsen Haydens, Feder, and Scalzi).

      • Tracy says:

        (I realize I’m not Eric, but this letter was so strange to me, and you did post it in public, so I don’t think I’m out of line commenting on its weaknesses here.)

      • Bibliotheca Servare says:

        Delightful how, out of all the statements made in that letter, *that* was the one you narrowed in on and chose to point out as a “weakness”. Not the fighting against apartheid in South Africa, not the friends who died fighting that fight, not even the (literal) violent opposition to *real* Neo Nazis. No. John Scalzi is what you thought important, or at least a big enough issue to “weaken” the rest of the substance of Mr. Grant’s letter. That tells me something about you. I’d tell you more, but I suspect you’d just home in on one irrelevant point in my statement and the rest would make a sonic boom as it flew over your head. My goodness…talk about “missing the point” or not seeing the forest for the trees…

  24. David Gerrold says:

    Will someone please point me to a link where I actually said what was claimed in an earlier comment here? That I look forward to handing Connie Willis an award?

    You can’t. I never said it.

    (I have joked about the inevitability of Mike Resnick and Connie Willis winning awards, but that’s not the same statement.)

    In any case, I wouldn’t have said it because Connie Willis is not nominated this year.

    And … as the Hugo host, I have to remain publicly neutral on who I want to see win.

    What I have said, and will say again, is simply, “Read the works, vote your conscience.”

    I don’t mind people disagreeing with me. I do mind when they lie about me.

    • Reality Observer says:

      Didn’t realize that “neutral” includes hoping for a “smackdown.” (May 10, in case you have already conveniently forgotten…)

      Boy, I’m glad you’re not actually against the Sad Puppies – the blood would be hip deep (although it would not be theirs, IMHO).

    • James May says:

      From a David Gerrold Facebook post: “The continuing denigration of women and minorities as ‘the Social Justice Warrior Glittery Hoo Ha crowd’ leaves me wondering … are you folks in favor of social injustice?

      “If you’re against ‘the Social Justice Warrior Glittery Hoo Ha crowd’ then we to wonder if you’re in favor of the denial of civil rights to women, blacks, LGBT, immigrants, and other minorities?

      “Because if that’s what you stand for — a return to the days of sexism, racism, misogyny, and discrimination…”

      From another DG Facebook post: “I will point out, however, that the awards are being handed out by a gay man and a black woman — and both of us intend to make sure there are lots of cooties on the trophies, no matter who wins.”

      *

      Without quotes to show otherwise, only you care about the fact you’re gay and Tananarive Due is black, but the implication is clear we do. The implication we default to anti-social justice unless we declare our bona fides is clear as well. As far as I can tell those bona fides consist of race and gender being my moral compass, with me always pointing in the wrong direction.

      And there has been no denigration of women and minorities aside from us pushing back against idiocy about “embraces white male power fantasies” (N. K. Jemisin at Tor.com), “other experiences than the white male’s” (Damien Walter, The Guardian), “white male roster” (Vida), “unconscious bias on the part of men whites” (Laura Mixon), “white male power & centrality” (Liz Bourke, Tor.com), “only one award went to a white male” (M.R. Kowal), “white men run the world, right?” (Andrea Harris), “The white male gaze counts on silence,” (Monica Byrne), “Life is so hard for white dudes” (Veronica Schanoes), “The ‘Mental Illness’ We Refuse to Name: White Male Entitlement” (from a retweet by SFWA president Steven Gould), “sexist, racist white male machine of power” (Shanley Kane), “White male nerds need to realize…” (Laurie Penny), “straight white males are not usually very self-aware” (Requires Hate), “my book review column features no white male authors” (Sunil Patel, Lightspeed Magazine), “whiny white male authors” (Ellen Oh), “Science Fiction’s White Male Problem” (The New Republic), “Hard as it to believe, somewhere right now, a white, straight male is explaining to a woman or POC (person of color) what they =really= meant” (Steven Gould), “I’ve been thinking of a way to explain to straight white men how life works for them” (then SFWA president John Scalzi), “mostly white, mostly men – with cockroaches for hearts” (Saladin Ahmed), “White male privilege doesn’t need to describe the world that caters to it” (Kate Elliott), “Policing white male centrality, (K. Tempest Bradford), “White male privilege cares ONLY about white male privilege, and there is no goal except maintaining that position of power” (N.Y. Times best-selling Marvel Comics writer Marjorie Liu), etc.

      People like Anita Sarkeesian understand what “gendered hate speech” is and John Scalzi can see “obvious misogyny” when L. Correia utters the word “pussy” but otherwise fair play and equal protection disappear in a cloud of smoke and stupid excuses, and a flood of defamatory quotes become a question of context or something else or I was just filing my fingernails…

      For those of you who need to, just replace “white” with “black” and then find me comparable quotes, or just say the words “equal protection.” When there are literally thousands of quotes like that from the highest to the lowest in SFF and 100% of them negative portrayals that is simply hate speech no matter how much you spin it using privilege theory and “punching up” excuse notes from teacher. It is rancid. I don’t need to listen to that and I don’t need to be called a “racist” or “neo-Nazi” for telling such people to take a hike. This is not a question of me feeling a victim or oppressed but of others scapegoating me to define their own victimization and phony oppression.

      At what point does saying “straight white males have an undue amount of power and influence in our society” cross over into group defamation? Does it ever? Is there any limit whatsoever from a cult which claims mistaken racial identity is “institutional racism”? (Nebula winner Alaya Dawn Johnson) The standard is so wide I could dump an ocean into it and I don’t recall ever ceding one inch of my full right to humanity to anyone on some imaginary sliding scale of oppression I have never visited on anyone. My rights are inalienable, not a negotiation by radical feminism.

      • Bibliotheca Servare says:

        I suspect it’s a mistake to write this, but…I never was accused of having a particularly robust sense of self-preservation. *chuckles* Anyway: Even if I can understand (and, in my ignorance, disagree with) the idea of “privilege” or “patriarchy” as spoken about by many, many voices in the media, and the academic sphere, and as much (an unfathomably enormous amount) respect as I unquestionably have for Mr. Flint, and though it may show I am “thin skinned” and too eager to take offense at other persons’ statements… I have to say that this was well put. (Yes. That was a *lot* of qualifications…ahem…) I’m the sort that tries to replace the words anyone uses in a generalizing statement about some group with (for example) the word “Jew(s)” in an effort to shine an objective, but emotional, light on such statements. I have already said I reject the idea of “privilege” or “patriarchy” as being so much bunkum; as such I’ve found that if a statement sounds disgusting when the group name in it (whites, blacks, men, women, conservatives, liberals, Muslims, Christians, etc) is replaced with “Jew(s)” it’s usually a fair bet that Tue statement in its original form is just as disgusting…the sole difference being that the level of soul-deep revulsion the original statement invokes is less (whatever the reason) than the modified statement does. Hate is hate, regardless of race, gender, sex, faith, nationality, or any other metric. Such speech should be absolutely protected by laws of free speech (such as the 1st amendment) but that does not mean that it should not be recognized as wrong when it is encountered. Radicals of any sort are generally distasteful to associate with…feminist or otherwise. I say that as a radical myself, I feel I should note. I’m under no illusions that my company is always pleasant or felicitous, though I do try to be pleasant to he around.
        ;-)

    • https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdavid.gerrold%2Fposts%2F10205363965790973&ei=DH12VbipKsPB7AauqIPwCQ&usg=AFQjCNGGG3VfGUithA3rjXN340mCRqjIug&sig2=eHlkp0yjc0LiYKTgtg7a0g

      A most undignified, embarrassing response from an allegedly mature man, that proved every one of Larry’s points.

      “These people played within the letter of the rules, but they’re hatey-haters who hate, so we should be able to exclude them, and I don’t want to play, and you’re a bunch of poopy pants. So there!”

      And you note that several people have over a dozen noms or wins.

      Now, are those people good authors? Yes. Were they the best authors that many years running? Probably not.

      So yes, the system is insular, incestuous and in need of new life.

      And real convention attendees, like my daughter, were completely unaware of the Hugo. http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/item/no-matter-what-happens-the-hugos-are-doomed

      Since at no point have I ever attacked Mr Gerrold’s orientation, professional ability as a teacher, awards or physique, I owe no one an apology.

      I did briefly take him to task over some ignorant and idiotic statements about firearms and the law, a field in which I am an expert with decades of experience, and he clearly is not.

  25. Reality Observer says:

    Mr. Flint, I read a previous post of yours – and am now glad that I kept my (admittedly volcanic) temper in check, and did not comment at that time.

    You have certainly salvaged my perception of you as an honorable opponent. We definitely do not agree on (many) social issues, or on (just about all) economic issues, but you are able to avoid, for the most part, the hatred (unveiled and veiled) of the majority of the public figures on “your” side. Note, I deliberately say public figures. The majority of the non-public figures with your views are people I do not trade mortar rounds with.

    Now, the Sad Puppies supporters could certainly do without Vox Day. I think that just about all of us, at various times, have made our opinion of him very clear. As a “wannabe” writer, I certainly never expect to be published by Castalia House, nor would this lack (probably) impact any career I might hope to have. However, the situation with multiple people at TOR is different; I can certainly expect to be rejected by the likes of Patrick Nielsen-Hayden or Irene Gallo, because it is quite evident that they perceive anything written by a Sad Puppy is “bad-to-reprehensible work,” despite the veneer of their public prevarications.

    And – if anyone at Baen were to be so unprofessional as to call you a murdering, thieving, neo-Stalinist – especially when they were promoting a book by, say, Tom Kratman – there would be no forgiveness from me, nor any continuing trust in the Baen brand name if they retained their job. (Somehow, I think that they would be fortunate to retain their life when Toni Weisskopf managed to corner them.)

    • Speaking for myself, I was unaware that Vox was running a campaign, nor that he had nominated one of my works.

      1: he needs no permission to do so, nor could I stop him in any practical sense.

      2: I have commented repeatedly on his lack of understanding of basic science, and other matters, publicly and to him. Yet, he is able to see past our disagreements and political differences and endorse my work for itself.

      3: that makes him more honorable than several denizens at Tor.

      4: that is a sad truth, and should be a wake up call. If you are measured morally against your enemy and found wanting…

      • Reality Observer says:

        Actually, I was out of the loop for SP1 and SP2. SP3 I got interested in, and then there was an offhand mention of “Vox Day” and the “Rabid Puppies” after the ballot (first version) was announced.

        Following that up, I was MIGHTILY confused. “Vox” to me is a far left wing web site. “Rabid Puppies” sounded like a rip-off by the LEFT to attack the Sad Puppies.

        I really don’t think I was alone in this, being one of those “untrue fans” who really didn’t follow the ins and outs of “fandom.”

  26. Pingback: The Walkies Dead 6/8 | File 770

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  28. Exarch says:

    What form of ending can there possibly be at this point? There may, or may not, be some adjustment to Hugo award voting rules in the near future, and it doesn’t seem likely there will be any impact on the actual business of writing, and publication, but with regards to the online conversation the bridges seem to have been rather thoroughly burnt; especially with Kate Paulk having already said that there will be some incarnation of Sad Puppies 4 next year isn’t the current state of affairs just the new normal?

  29. John C Wright says:

    Irene Gallo’s apology was sufficient to ameliorate my offended honor, which is not based on parsing words and looking for an excuse not to accept an apology. I am required to accept an apology when offered, or I cannot call myself a man. I am not required to read between the lines to discover alleged secret mental reservations.

    The insult was pro-forma, words she did not mean and which made no sense, hence a pro-forma apology is logically sufficient. This is a matter of honor, not emotion. Honor is satisfied.

    I salute Mr Flint for holding his allies to a higher standard. Well done, sir.

    I am please that Mr Flint has the clearsightedness to call my writing fustian. I am doubly pleased because he ironically chose a fustian word like fustian to describe it.
    If he were a Christian, and filled with the laughter only madmen and giants know, I could perhaps explain to him the joys of fustian pomp, and why pomposity is self-forgetful rather than self-aggrandizing, and why it is a brave and splendid thing to walk adorned in gold and in the purple of Tyre for happy solemnities.

    But he has his idols, and I do not bow to them, and I have God, to whom Mr Flint does not bow, so I doubt I can wing any words across that abyss, no matter how high flown the prose. I am pleased he did not simply sneer, denigrate and mock a story of mine, but judged it, and found it wanting.

    He is judging the story, which may be good or bad, and not the author, whom I have it on good authority is not a good man. Well done again. Basic fairness should not be rare.

    • rho says:

      But I saw nothing “bad-to-reprehensible” about it other than Wright’s penchant for fustian prose.

      I had to look up “fustian.”

      Then I had to look up “irony” to see if it applied in this case.

      Turns out “pecksniffery” probably works better.

    • Terry says:

      This is one of the most Christian actions I’ve seen taken by any member of either side of this fracas. Good on you for walking the walk, Mr. Wright.

    • Rick Boatright says:

      Well said Mr Wright!

    • I still haven’t seen an apology to accept.

      “I’m sorry you got upset that I called you a bunch of nazis, but I’m leaving the post on my wall” is not an apology.

    • Yoyo says:

      I’m very surprised and pleased that you made this response.

      • Bibliotheca Servare says:

        I am entirely unsurprised that you were surprised. Truly, utterly unsurprised that your belief in the inherently nasty, evil, wicked, bigoted, etc natures of your opponents was so certain and unshakeably sincere (ie: it wasn’t rhetoric…you actually thought/think those that disagree with you on this issue *are* the demonic, straw-person caricatures your previous comments on Mr. Flint’s blog have been aimed at) that you were actually *shocked* to see one of those (evil, etc) opponents express himself in an utterly human, inarguably decent, and -arguably- noble fashion. When you are shocked, or surprised, to see someone you disagree with on an issue behaving in a decent, less-than-monstrous fashion, it’s should serve as a wakeup call that you’re “doing it wrong” as the meme goes. It should awaken you to the fact that your opponents are *just* as human as *you* are, and that treating them -even in internal thought exercises- as if they are less than human, decent people is both foolish, and an efficient way of setting yourself up to fail. Pardon the arguably caustic nature of this response, but I tire of your (and your fellows’) thoughtless, Puppy-Kicking snark and incessant demonization of me, my friends, and multiple authors whose work, whether fiction or non, published or non, has caused me to feel a superlative amount of admiration and (though it may mark me as an odd ‘un [an odd one]) affection for them.

        Good day. ;-)

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      Lovely response, Mr. Wright. My already high opinion of you is raised by reading this and the post on your blog. I must shamefacedly confess that, though I suspected its meaning, I had to look up the meaning of the term “Fustian” upon reading Mr. Flint’s blog post. I may have chuckled a bit. *chuckles* I share your delight with such prose, by the by, though I am unquestionably less qualified and deft in my efforts to utilize that manner of written expression. It is eminently pleasurable and, yes, Joyous, to stretch and exercise one’s capacity for inaudible eloquence by utilizing as much of one’s linguistic repertoire as possible when employing the written word as a means of communicating one’s ideas, opinions, thoughts, imagination, and so on. I am very tired now, and in pain (wisdom teeth extraction…hurts. Quite a bit) so I regret to say my vocabulary is failing me. As such, I will draw this to a close. I hope and pray that this reaches you well, and I thank you for presenting this stumble-prone race-runner with yet another example of what a race well-run looks like. May the Lord bless you, sir, and your house. ;-)

  30. Hampus Eckerman says:

    In one of his blogposts, Beale wrote this about the childmurderer and terrorist Anders Breivik:

    “As I said not long after the shootings, I will not be in the least bit surprised if Anders Breivik is one day regarded as a national hero in Norway, much like George Washington and William Tell, two men who also offered murderous resistance to their own governments.”

    I knew some of the people Breivik tried to kill. One was my childhood friend. He hid in the water and survived only because Breivik killed a girl nearer instead. My colleagues daughter only survived because she was sick that day.

    When these things were discusses on File770, one of the puppy supporters came to defend Beales statements by defending the murders. You understand why I see neo-nazis as part of the puppies?

    This is the same Beale that wrote abot N.K. Nemisin:

    “Unlike the white males she excoriates, there is no evidence to be found anywhere on the planet that a society of NK Jemisins is capable of building an advanced civilization, or even successfully maintaining one without significant external support from those white males. If one considers that it took my English and German ancestors more than one thousand years to become fully civilized after their first contact with advanced Greco-Roman civilization, it should be patently obvious that it is illogical to imagine, let alone insist, that Africans have somehow managed to do the same in less than half the time at a greater geographic distance. These things take time.”

    Why am I not allowed to view Beale as a neo-nazi when his writing makes it clear where his sympathies lie? Why is this view dismissed without any thought?

    • Did he say HE felt that way, or only that he thought OTHERS MIGHT feel that way?

      Content matters.

      If you are going to quote his response to Jemisin, you should quote her statements to him, first, for context. Please do so.

      I don’t know the context of his second part, but it is true there are pseudo historical revisionists who claim Africans settled the Americas and had some imaginary sea-faring civilization long before Europeans, despite the complete lack of linguistic or DNA evidence of such, based on the quaint observation that to build tall structures, it’s easier to make them narrower at the top.

      It’s possible Jemisin is one such. Given her rhetoric on other subjects, entirely possible.

      But, has Beale called for either a national socialist infrastructure, a eugenics program by government mandate, or joined any such party?

      “Raving, narcissistic asshole” is not the same thing as “Nazi.”

    • Joe Katzman says:

      Hampus, I understand why you’d be pissed. And you ask a fair question.

      I guess the question is whether the statement is voiced as a prediction or a hope. As to why that matters… I would not be in the least bit surprised if the vile moron who shot those people in the Paris Jewish bakery is is one day regarded as a national hero in France, with a mythology much like George Washington and William Tell.

      I’m Jewish, incidentally. But I can understand demographics and geo-political trends, and see which way the wind could easily blow. So saying that is in no way an expression of support. The world is what it is, and there are tensions and problems that could absolutely lead to this outcome.

      I can do the same thing in a more cautionary vein, and say that if they persist in their current course, Iran is likely to find that many of its cities will become glowing ruins. I have Persian friends, and would much prefer a different future… but the Saudis and others want nukes, and an unstable theocratic leadership that glorifies homicide/martyrdom could easily do something that couldn’t be walked back. Play with enough unstable elements, and one of them will probably go off at some point. It’s no different than saying that I’m sorry, but your football team is probably going to lose next week: too many inconsistent players.

      Or, I could make that last prediction in a way that suggested I wanted it to happen. And you’d have to figure out from my words what was really in my head. Which may or may not be right.

      Ms. Gallo was really clear, and spoke in the present. People speaking about the future are much, much harder to pin down. Others will make judgements anyway, which is a good reason to be visibly sober and careful about predictions.

      • Hampus Eckerman says:

        I do believe that anyone that now talks about boycotting Tor, because of a comment from an Art Director, also should boycott Castalia House because of the comments from their owner.

        “Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn’t possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don’t speak English and are not integrated into American society.”

        http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/graphics/wndvoxcolumn051506.pdf

        Neo-nazi, absolutely.

        • James May says:

          And what happened to Jean Rabe, Mike Resnick, Barry Malzberg and Jonathan Ross who were all hounded out of paying gigs on the thinnest of feminist violations. Were they all neo-Nazis too?

        • Calbeck says:

          I have to note at this point that you are farming for outrage by ignoring the content of your own quote.

          Or are you seriously arguing that “the Final Solution” is the same thing as deportation of persons illegally in the United States? Are you arguing that Vox’s citation here exists to validate the Holocaust?

          That said, should YOU take your own advice seriously and start boycotting any media outlet whose employees and/or owners have ACTUALLY made statements endorsing a new Holocaust against their opponents? How about only in those cases where, when given a chance to walk back such statements, they dug in instead? Exactly such phrases have been used against GamerGate, by persons alleging themselves to be journalists.

          But I warn you, don’t go on Twitter and denounce such statements, not one of them — or you will be declared by GamerGate’s opposition to BE part of GamerGate. That’s been our biggest source of recruits in the last six months.

          • Hampus Eckerman says:

            I have no idea why the heck you are starting to talk about gamergate. My beef is with the guy who wants to heorise the terrorist who tried to murder my friend.

            • Calbeck says:

              Mr. Flint’s post, and this discussion, isn’t about a psychotic Norwegian shooter. It’s about Ms. Gallo’s original statement and the way that’s been handled since.

              YOU decided to inject an unrelated shooting, expressly to assert that one single person, in one faction of the Puppies movement, is in fact a neo-Nazi, and you did it to defend Ms. Gallo’s original statement. Now you’re relying on your friend’s personal endangerment as a shield against counter-arguments.

              Why am I talking about GamerGate? Because Ms. GALLO talked about GamerGate in the same breath as everyone else she was slandering.

              In my case, I am both a Sad Puppy and a member of the GamerGate movement, so I have been insulted twice over, particularly in that Ms. Gallo now says she is only apologizing to “some individuals” and not the thousands she has smeared just on the Puppy side of affairs.

              Elsewhere in this discussion, and in forums frequented by the most strident opponents of the Puppies, there are people even now who are busy at work DEFENDING the use of “neo-nazi” as being perfectly acceptable in some way, including YOU.

              When people here talk about toxic voices quashing all attempts at resolving anything, you’re one of those they’re referring to, regardless of how justifiably outraged you may believe you are.

              • Bibliotheca Servare says:

                Excellently put. Truly.

              • Hampus Eckerman says:

                Again, my point is that it is acceptable to call a man who heroises a neo-nazi childmurderer a neo-nazi himself. It is not unreleated as I am talking about Beale, the leader of the rabid puppy-slate.

                Your sealioning about gamergate is totally uninteresting for me.

        • Joe Katzman says:

          I don’t think you quite understood what I was communicating re: predictions. How is this new quote different from saying:

          “We won World War 2 in under 5 years. It couldn’t possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don’t speak English and are not integrated into American society.”

          You see the word “Holocaust” and cease to think rationally about what the statement actually says. Which is that an industrialized society like the USA could do X if it really wanted to, within 8 years. And that’s probably correct. Though it isn’t the way I’d bet.

          (Aside… Vox’s quote does kind of remind me that if the USA with all of its current capabilities did become unhinged and began practicing violence against its population… things could get really bad, very fast. A sobering reminder. Mayyybe Facebook isn’t the great idea everyone thinks.)

          • Reality Observer says:

            Question for the Marys, and the Marks, and the Hampuses – what do you think of Bill Ayers?

            Note – this is a defining question. If you do not absolutely disavow him, you are a Marxist who is “heroising” a person that thinks 25 million Americans should be killed in gulags.

      • Mark says:

        I guess the question is whether the statement is voiced as a prediction or a hope.

        No. No, it isn’t. VD plays this line-dancing, I-didn’t-really-say-it-I-was-just-speculating card far far too frequently. His opinions are clear from the totality of his writing. He is a Neo-Nazi and you are, right now, acting as an apologist for a Neo-Nazi. Perhaps you’d like to stop doing that?

        • Kevin Marks says:

          And perhaps you’d like to stop conflating the word “neo-Nazi” with “someone I disagree with”? Vox Day is an unabashed free market capitalist, as his writings make clear. A Nazi is a nationalist socialist (as opposed to the communists, who are international socialists). So at the very least, you’re guilty of using loaded, obviously false language. At the worst, you are no better than Irene Gallo, who might be called a “lying smear-specialist.”

        • Carol Gibson says:

          I am so tired of the argument that Vox Day is not really supporting the things he says just speculating.

          Bull he deliberately caters to the ultra right crazies which includes white supremacist and Neo Nazi as well as MRA and the red pill crazies.

          At this point it really does not matter if he believes these things or not he is instigating and promoting hate.

          • James May says:

            The problem is there is a far larger movement in SFF which caters to ultra left crazies which include non-white supremacists as well as WRAs. It outnumbers Beale by an easy hundred or two. We lack only a definition on what race and sex-hatred is instead seeing misogyny everywhere accompanied by #ImaginaryMisandry. Women are human and their ability to hate or love is not imaginary. Honor a definition all can live by and this all goes away tomorrow. You’ll get a definition of hate speech from this bunch together with community-wide Codes of Conduct regarding them on the day hell freezes over. There is only one kind of sexual and racial harassment in SFF, and we all know what it is.

          • Calbeck says:

            So enforcing the border laws of the United States is fascism, as has been alleged so far in this discussion?

            Sorry, but hyperbole like this only reinforces Mr. Flint’s point, while also pointing out that Ms. Gallo is far from alone in her histrionics.

          • Yoyo says:

            Absolutely right. He plays the “this is just rhetoric” trick all the time but he is the purest example of dog whistling since vdare.

    • TRX says:

      > Why am I not allowed to view Beale as a neo-nazi

      “You keep using that word… I do not think it means what you think it means.”

      The James Murphy translation was the official English version, at least until he fell out with the NSDAP. It reads like a cross between The Federal Register and an early screenplay for “They Live!”, but it does lay out the NSDAP’s official party platform and goals once you bore through endless whingeing about the internal politics of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which wasn’t even relevant to Germany, but apparently was one of Hitler’s favorite subjects…

      At least Hess slipped a few jokes into Mein Kampf. I’m pretty sure I suffered minor brain damage grinding through Marx’ “Das Kapital.” On the 1-10 Scale of German Pedantry, Marx scores about 27.

      “Words have meaning.”

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      I was going to post a sardonic reply, but Mr. Williamson (aka “Mad Mike”) wrote an excellent response that seems perfectly succinct, as well as far more polite and courteous than mine would have been. He didn’t even question your level of sobriety, or inebriation, for goodness sake. Much kinder than I am, unquestionably. I should work on that…

      PS: there is one thing I feel comfortable adding. I would add- no one said you weren’t “allowed” to “view” Mr. Beale “as a Neo-Nazi” Mr. Eckerman. What was said (here and elsewhere) was that such a view was both inaccurate, and insulting to the victims of *actual* Nazis and Neo-Nazis. I would add “very, very silly” if I wasn’t…oh screw it, consider it added.
      Ciao! ;-)

  31. Gary D says:

    Another excellent and honorable post Eric Flint.

    Irene Gallo: “About my Sad/Rabid Puppies comments: They were solely mine. This is my personal page; I do not speak on behalf of Tor Books or Tor.com. I realize I painted too broad a brush and hurt some individuals, some of whom are published by Tor Books and some of whom are Hugo Award winners. I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.”

    That is not quite an “I am sorry if you were offended by what I said” non-apology but I don’t think the Sad Puppies will be satisfied,

    • Joe Katzman says:

      So, let’s examine the “apology.”

      “About my Sad/Rabid Puppies comments: They were solely mine. This is my personal page; I do not speak on behalf of Tor Books or Tor.com.”

      Lie. It is her personal page, but she’s a fairly senior manager promoting a book by Tor as the core thread. Worse, deeper in the thread she notes that refusing to apologize will attract more attention to the thread and serve as promo for the book.

      “I realize I painted too broad a brush and hurt some individuals, some of whom are published by Tor Books and some of whom are Hugo Award winners. I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.”

      “I painted too broad a brush” is not an apology; it’s “I was mostly right.” Likewise, “I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments” is not an apology.

      So she hasn’t owned up to a major dereliction of professional duty, hasn’t retracted her accusations, and ends by implying that it’s her listeners’ problem. I don’t see an apology. Recall Eric’s test:

      “…she needs to publicly retract the accusation and apologize to the people against whom she made it.”

      She has done neither.

      • snowcrash says:

        I disagree, and take it from someone who’s actually seen and received a non-apology?

        About my Sad/Rabid Puppies comments: They were solely mine. This is my personal page; I do not speak on behalf of Tor Books or Tor.com. I realize I painted too broad a brush and hurt some individuals, some of whom are published by Tor Books and some of whom are Hugo Award winners. I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.

        In her post, Ms Gallo: 1. Took responsibility for her actions, 2. Acknowledged her mistake, 3. Apologized for those she hurt. (also 1.5 – indemnified her employer, which any halfway decent HR would have insisted on!)

        There’s no weaselly terms like “oh *if* I offended anyone” or “some mistakes were made”. This isn’t it. She’s owned up, and admitted that people were hurt by her actions, and apologised to them.

        You’re doing what Brad Torgersen calls hiding a joy buzzer, and just using this to attack Ms Gallo.

        • Richard Hartman says:

          Her apology (“I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments”) amounts to “I didn’t know that neo-Nazis had feelings that could be hurt”. Not “I should not have said this.”

          If you remember, Eric’s formula was to “Retract the statement publicly and issue a simple and straightforward apology.” She did NOT retract anything. Hint: a retraction should contain the phrase “I should never have said these things” or something much like it.

        • Joe Katzman says:

          Ms. Gallo could have issued an apology that satisfied me. She did not, because it isn’t a real apology.

          Heck, she could have said, “I’m not going to retract my statement re: Vox Day, because I think he really is a racist. Even so, it was very unprofessional to draw my publisher into this, by leveling this charge while promoting Tor works. Worse, it was inexcusable of me to libel any other authors and fans in this manner – especially my Tor colleagues, to whom I owe a duty. ” (actual acknowledgement of mistake – vs. “too broad a brush,” which = “mistakes were made”).

          * “I am truly sorry, and will not do anything like this again. As an executive at Tor, I am aware that I have greater responsibilities, and this will be reflected in all of my future public posts. I hope that those whom I’ve wronged can forgive me, and that current and future authors can work together with me to showcase their work.” (actual apology, statement that she won’t do it again).

          That’s what an apology looks like. It isn’t what her statement looks like.

      • Mark says:

        Lie. It is her personal page, but she’s a fairly senior manager promoting a book by Tor as the core thread.

        Not in fact a lie. She’s making a factual statement that her employer undoubtedly required her to reiterate (See Tom Doherty’s statement) that when speaking on a social media site in her own name, she’s speaking in her own name.

        “I painted too broad a brush” is not an apology; it’s “I was mostly right.”

        Some of her specific statements can only be applied to some of the people painted with them, so she’s withdrawn the broad sweep. Why require her to apologise for calling Vox Day a racist when it’s the unvarnished truth?

        • Kevin Marks says:

          Because it’s a lie. Vox Day is not a “racist”. Unless recognizing and commenting upon differences among races based upon different metrics is “racist.” For instance, what percentage of the NFL and NBA are black, and what percentages are white, Asian, Jewish, and Hispanic? Then consider what percentage of the general population each of those sub-groups comprises.

          It is “racist” to make the observation and consider it? Then all kinds of sports coaches, scientists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, exercise physiologists, and people in lots of other disciplines are “racist.”

          Here is Vox Day’s state position on human racial differences:

          “I assert that an unborn female black child with a missing chromosome and an inclination to homosexuality is equal in human value and human dignity and unalienable, God-given rights to a straight white male in the prime of his life and a +4 SD IQ.”

          “Racist”, right?

          • Mark says:

            Kevin, earlier today on tor dot com, John C Wright denied being homophobic through the medium of a homophobic rant. I didn’t think I’d see the same tactic twice in one day, but here you are, denying racism by repeating racist remarks.

            • Bibliotheca Servare says:

              Erm…is every word you read -no matter its usefulness- instantaneously made part of your internal GIGO loop? I mean…that’s the only explanation I can think of…
              ;-)

            • Kevin Marks says:

              Gee…I guess it IS “racist” to observe facts that exist, and then discuss them and what they might mean. Galileo and Copernicus did no less. Sorry! :–)

  32. I can’t say I agree with all your views on the Sad Puppies, sir, but I have to say that this was a classy response to a messy affair. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Ms. Gallo’s unprofessional behavior and the distasteful smear tactics she employed. And if she retracts her statements in full and issues a straightforward apology for making them (not merely apologizing that feelings were broken, as she has already done), I agree that her apology should be accepted.

  33. Reality Observer says:

    One thing, Mr. Flint. I was not aware that the hate-filled vitriol from Mercedes Lackey was spewed out in your home space. (I just chalked it up as yet another frothing at the mouth reaction from an author I do not care for as a solo, and unlike the people at TOR, has no power to harm those who she hates so bitterly.)

    It would be difficult, and I will understand perfectly if you decline – but perhaps you can address that also in your future posts?

  34. Jon Nials says:

    O.M.G. An honorable leftist. And here I thought they were unicorns. :)

    Seriously, Mr. Flint. I appreciate your writing and your candor. Perhaps some other people (I refuse to name names) will pick up on your, shall we say hints on how they might improve their communications?

    • Mike says:

      When looking for hints on how to improve communications, you might want to consider whether it’s helpful to start your discussion with someone by making a joke that implies everyone who doesn’t share your views is dishonorable.

      • Kevin Marks says:

        He put a smiley face in there to emphasize the joke.

        Humor-challenged much?

        • Trevor says:

          That’s a cop out, and you know. It’s the same as the Southern US saying, “Bless his heart”. You say that after you insult someone to try and make other like minded people say, “Oh, it’s not that bad, he didn’t really mean it.”

          The smiley face doesn’t make it a joke, it means that he meant to say it, but knew that it was a cowardly way of starting a discourse, so he put it there so that his defenders could then blame “the other side” if they took offense. It’s a common rhetorical trick that both sides use, and it’s just as useless and has no place in any civilized debate.

  35. Robbo says:

    The ethics alarms blog (ethicsalarms.com) has a useful apology scale, running 1 to 10, where a 1 is ” 1. An apology motivated by the realization that one’s past conduct was unjust, unfair, and wrong, constituting an unequivocal admission of wrongdoing as well as regret, remorse and contrition, as part of a sincere effort to make amends and seek forgiveness.” and a 9 is “9. Deceitful apologies, in which the wording of the apology is crafted to appear apologetic when it is not (“if my words offended, I am sorry”). Another variation: apologizing for a tangential matter other than the act or words that warranted an apology.”

    Gallo’s apology is definitely not a 1. Is it a 9 ?

    • i love this ethical alarm apology scale!

      Regarding the Gallo apology I agree that her words definitely
      are not a “1” but I don’t think they are a “9” either.
      I’d say it’s somewhere in the 4-5 range. The question
      for the SP/RP folks is will they only be satisfied with
      an apology that THEY (since they are the ones who were
      presumably offended by the original statements) evaluate as a “1”?

      Or does Gallo’s apology get to be evaluated on the ethic alarm
      Scale by the entire public?

      And I do think it is significant that the original statement
      was made a month ago and only publicized the same weekend the Nebula awards were announced. The reasons for this were publicized at file770.con

      I also think Gallo’s use of the word “respectively” distinguishing
      the SPs (extreme right wing) and the RPs (neo-nazi) is
      also significant. One can (and people have, in comments above) argue that
      those descriptions are not wholly inaccurate.

      However, I agree with Eric that Gallo’s statements after that are wrong and demonstrably inaccurate.

    • Rick Boatright says:

      THANK YOU for that pointer. I’ve bookmarked it, and will be using it.

      Gallo’s apology is a six.
      6. A forced or compelled version of 1-4, when the individual (or organization) apologizing knows that an apology is appropriate but would have avoided making one if he or she could have gotten away with it.

      • Here’s the link to the Apology Scale:

        http://ethicsalarms.com/rule-book/the-apology-scale/

        How do we know that Gallo’s apology was forced?

        • Bibliotheca Servare says:

          Hrm…car pictures. Because she declined to apologize for her (to quote you) “…not wholly inaccurate… …demonstrably inaccurate…” hateful, defamatory, utterly unacceptable and disgusting allegations and descriptions when asked, politely, for an explanation, an apology, *some*thing…and instead elected to respond to those requests…with cat pictures, and the “word” “kitteh?” on her Facebook page. Her “apology” such as it was, came only briefly before Mr. Doherty posted his open letter to the folks she castigated, defamed, and tarred with the “Neo-Nazi to Extreme Right Wing!!!11!” (Exclamation points and “1’s” mine) “too broad” brush. In the aforementioned open letter, Mr. Doherty stated that she, and others at Tor, he seemed to imply, had been talked to and informed of the unacceptable nature of her/their actions, speech, and behavior. As Leeroy Jethro Gibbs (NCIS) says, “there are no coincidences.” She posted her (well hidden) “apology” for using “too broad a brush” a *very* short time before Mr. Doherty posted his open letter. It would be an impressive coincidence if the “talk” he mentioned were not responsible, at least in part, for Miss Gallo’s pseudo-apology. In my opinion, at least.
          ;-)

  36. Mike says:

    A minor quibble…

    The text quoted said (emphasis mine):

    “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.”

    That seems to me to indicate that the Sad Puppies are being labeled as “extreme right-wing” and the Rabid Puppies are being labeled as “neo-nazi”. Neither group is being labeled both (although one could of course see that there’s probably significant overlap at play there).

    • Mark says:

      Mike: Yes, this point has come up elsewhere. She was clearly making a distinction. This is where I feel our host does her a disservice in an otherwise fair and well-judged post: it’s not Gallo’s fault that it is extremely difficult to put a wedge in the gap between SP and RP, it’s the fault of those who tolerated VD for far too long until they realised he’d played them and had to scramble to put some daylight between him and them.

      • Jody says:

        Yes, that sort of word parsing is exactly how Vox Day excuses his vile crap. She didn’t mean it that way, she meant it to apply to both groups.

      • James May says:

        Men in SFF as an entire group were being called misogynist white racists by this new cult before anyone ever thought of SP. SP came because of that stuff. You’re putting the cart before the horse. There was no reason to start writing posts about white privilege interpreting a male-heavy, white-heavy demographic as a white male supremacy. There was absolutely no rhetoric to go along with such a fantastic idea, and there still isn’t. There are always demographic spikes in any hobby.

      • Bibliotheca Servare says:

        GIGO again Mark…man, have you *ever* read and comprehended a statement someone has made *without* conveniently ignoring the parts of it that would make the reply you intended to write look imbecilic? Read Mr. Flint’s post. If you actually read it before replying, weep for the brain cells you killed in writing your reply without remaining cognizant of the contents of Mr. Flint’s post, and read it *again* paying attention this time. If you can’t muster the miniscule amount of effort required to do so, here’s *one* quote that is relevant to your senseless, ridiculous, pandering sentence parsing: “…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 [same] sort of rhetorical device that Theodore Beale loves to use also…”

        Clear enough for you? No? There’s more, but you’ll have to use your brain and read them yourself, because I’m not going to quote the whole damn thing just to pander to your intellectual slothfulness. The exercise will be good for your poor, misused brain, too, so it’s win-win!
        Ciao! ;-)

  37. G. Filotto says:

    Eric,
    You are either an idiot or a liar.
    I am an UNREPENTANT rabid puppy supporter, so according to you I am a racist, sexist, homophobic bigot.
    You moron. The longest relationship I had, spanning over a decade is with a girl of decidedly brown colouration. I have more brown people in my actual family and my only “bigotry” is towards dishonest hypocrites.

    As for my politics, I essentually have none. The closest I come to it is Lysander Spooner’s unmatched essay Natural Law, or the Science of Justice.

    If you think me “rude” you should consider that you made demonstarbly false accusations about me and my character without knowing me or any of the other many like me who are simply sick to death of dishonest poseurs like you and your ever-status-aware kind.

    If you have any integrity, retract your baseless accusations and don’t censor this comment.

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      I don’t like the harsh language and namecalling, especially in a post seeking redress for being called (admittedly more unpleasant) names yourself; that said, I admit that I understand your anger at being (deliberately or merely carelessly…or not carelessly so much as…sloppily?) labeled a “racist, sexist, homophobic bigot” especially in a post castigating another person for doing something similar. I am tired now, so bear with me, but I do recall -though I am, if anything, a “sad” puppy supporter rather than a “rabid” puppy supporter…not to say I oppose the “rabid” puppies so much as to say I don’t consider myself a member of that particular…line?…of the overall “puppy” “brand” so to speak- feeling a bit of a ruffle in my feathers when I read the portion of Mr. Flint’s post that stated: “…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….” especially because I happen to “know” (on the internet…hence the quotes) more than one (mostly, and as far as I can tell) “unrepentant” Beale supporter (which doesn’t mean, in my understanding, that they unreservedly agree with Mr. Beale on all subjects. Hell several of them are atheists, and at least two are openly, proudly gay…and inarguably *not* homophobic…I suspect that homophobia would make their sex lives that much more interesting, lol…) and they are, essentially without exception, incredibly opinionated, happily eloquent, doggedly persistent, insatiably curious, sharp-witted, unapologetically vexing, and undeniably decent, goodhearted ladies and gentlemen. I like and respect them, even when they piss me off, pardon my French, in much the same way that I like, respect, and admire Mr. Flint, even when *he* pisses me off from time to time. That said, I feel I must point out that the statement I quoted came after another statement; a statement that, while not precisely contradicting, certainly *appears* in my mind to contradict the later statement. (The one quoted above) That is: “…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.” …” Followed by: “…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. …” (Yes, I know I already quoted that last bit. I left it in for…context?)
      Anyway, my point is that I understand your anger, but I’m not certain Mr. Flint *intended* to say that anyone who supports “Rabid Puppies” is “racist, sexist, homophobic [etc]…” without exception, or even that *most* of those who support “RP” are those things. That’s why I was a touch confused by his statement regarding the “bigot[ed]” nature of all of Mr. Beale’s supporters. I don’t know Mr Beale’s views very well -or even faintly, for that matter- but as I said I “know” several persons for whom a description of “Beale supporter” would not be grossly inaccurate, and none of them could -in my opinion- be fairly or justly called “bigots” of any stripe. I’m unsure if any of this makes sense, as I’m very tired, and in pain, but I hope it’s at least vaguely comprehensible. Be well.
      ;-)

  38. Rick Bennett says:

    Forced apologies mean nothing. Some here have said that being a man requires an acceptance of an apology. I agree, conditionally:

    1) The apology has to reach those that were hurt/offended.
    2) The apology has to be genuine. An apology along the lines of “I called you an asshole. I sorry you are an asshole.” is not an apology, but yet another slick insult.
    3) An apology dictated to be made by someone “higher up” in order to save a job or mitigate damage, which is quite obviously not genuine…it not worthy of acceptance. And being a person of honor, male or female, means standing for whats right, not for whats convenient.
    4) Gallo was following the standard line, reiterated by far to many, trying to, as some right above this response have done, lumping ALL together in an attempt to smear. No doubt it was an off the cuff remark made when she thought she was being witty and/or clever along the lines of renowned smartass and smarmy jerk David Letterman. However, she was found and the remarks were sat upon by someone just as capable and nasty as she, Vox Day. I’ve never read his stuff, have no idea what he’s about, and honestly, don’t care. But, GALLO put this out there. Day could not have used it against her without her fingers and brain working together to type the response she seems to think so clever and damning. She was hoist on her own petard. No amount of cover or abetting by her supporters make up for her original statements or the insulting pseudo-apology she made, unless other more generous than the average person accept that apology.

    As an adult with a nine year old son, who has said “sorry” for doing something wrong, I’ve told him before “Sorry” means nothing if it’s not genuine, and actions are not taken to correct the situation you made or contributed too.

    I see nothing in the “apology” from Gallo indicating that it is genuine. It is, instead and as I see it, yet another entry into the “I’ve been caught out, and told to do this to keep my job/spouse/relationship/fame/status or else.”

    Just my thoughts.

    • Mark says:

      1) The apology was made in the same thread as the comment, and been widely reported elsewhere.
      2) The apology clearly withdrew the broad sweep that had offended so many.
      3) Facts not in evidence. You’re basically declaring it’s not genuine, because you don’t think it’s genuine.
      4) You’re saying she wrote the comment, and now no apology will cover it? Some people disagree with you, starting with our host.

      tl;dr: your argument is a tautology.

      • Kevin Marks says:

        Except that on it’s face Gallo’s “apology” is not genuine…as 20 or more people have already observed and remarked upon at various venues.

        • Mark says:

          Oh sorry, we’re applying the “20 or more people can’t be wrong” rule? I didn’t realise.

          • Bibliotheca Servare says:

            You really ought to consider stopping when you’re not any further behind than you already are, at this point. “Ahead” vanished as a possibility several inane, witless comments like this one ago. Just a suggestion.
            ;-)

  39. Nicki says:

    This is what we call integrity. Something Gallo and her hysterical, shrewish ilk all lack. Thank you!

    • Mark says:

      Nicki, thank you for posting a short comment that tars a large number of people with a broad brush. You might notice we’re discussing someone who just apologised for doing that very same thing. Perhaps you should too?

      • Nicki says:

        Considering that her supporters have been ardently defending her, I’d say my comment is right on, Mark. Fact is her non-apology was just that. Fact is she libeled – yes LIBELED – a large group of diverse authors and those who enjoy their works with the neo-Nazi label (something many folks, including myself – an escaped Jew from the Soviet Union – find offensive to the core). And those who defend her are, indeed, hysterical and shrewish. Do you consider yourself part of that group? Then, accept the broad brush strokes. Anyone who supports these lies falls into that category.

        • Mark says:

          Nicki, I support Gallo against the unpleasant hordes who are screaming that it’s not a good enough apology, and she should be sacked, etc etc. I accept your broad brush strokes.

          Of course, the irony of someone who has just screamed “Libel” applying broad brush insults is very clear.

      • Nicki says:

        And by the way, there’s a difference between “I’m sorry you were offended by my lies” and “I’m sorry I told those lies.”

        Perhaps you should learn it.

      • Jody says:

        Mark,
        You seem to not understand the word “ilk”. In this case it refers to people who act in a similar way. That is those who reflexively refer to the puppies as extreme right wing, misogynist, homophobic neo-nazis. The difference is, and if you’ll actually read Eric’s post you’ll see it, Ms. Gallo is the first person of import in the industry to say it. If you’ll read Eric’s other posts on this topic he has dismissed the Sad Puppies claims of institutional bias because the vitriolic screaming against them was being done by fans and not professionals in the field.

        In all your comments on this thread you seem to have missed that point. Ms. Gallo’s comment and those comments by those supporting her confirm the Sad Puppies belief and tend to sway those on the fence to the Sad Puppies side. “See? There is an Important TOR Editor flinging nonsensical poo.”

        • James May says:

          Wrong. Gallo’s comment is a drop in the bucket from scores of organization presidents, editors, best-selling award nominated authors, authors in general and Tor bloggers.

          They are a flood numbering in their thousands and all based on the premise men are misogynists, whites racists and heterosexuals homophobes. There is virtually nothing flowing the other way. That is an easily documented fact.

        • Mark says:

          Jody, I’ve definitely gotten the import of “ilk”, thank you very much. Personally, where puppies are “extreme right wing”, or “misogynist”, or “homophobic”, or “neo-nazis” I identify them carefully, individually, specifically. Each of those accusations can be applied to various puppies – not all puppies, and not all of those individual descriptions – but there are individuals of that ilk within the puppies. Not doing that (in a casual comment on a personal FB thread) was Gallo’s mistake.

  40. Pingback: Much Ado about Puppies, Hugos, and other critters | T.L. Knighton

  41. Pinko says:

    I (disclaimer) am one of the evil Lefties who are out to viciously slander all hardworking americans, enslave their children, suck their souls,etc.
    I do believe that the author of this post has hit the proverbial nail on the head. Words do matter, and inflated rhetoric leads to the same pointless immature tripe that internet comment sections are bursting with.
    Thank you for calling Irene out on that. She could (and should) have worded her statement differently, leaving out emotional and irrational accusations.
    Don’t take this to mean that I’ve changed my mind about the issues. I haven’t and won’t, but I do think we (people who actually want to discuss ideas) need to make sure that we deliver measured, logical responses to everything we say, lest we become included in the garbage heap of emotional nonsense.

    • Nicki says:

      I agree with you 100 percent. It’s one thing to disagree with political or even social ideologies. It’s quite another to claim your opponent is evil for believing what he or she believes.

      • Trevor says:

        So you call out Ted Beale for the same thing, right? Because he goes out of his way to call people he disagrees with libelous names (Scalzi…McRapey).

        • Nicki says:

          I refuse to visit his blog or read his writings at all. I think he’s a douchebag of the highest order, and I won’t give him hits. No way.

        • Jody says:

          Vox Day is a disgusting human being. Even more so because I don’t think he actually believes most of the bull he spouts. That’s why there’s so much plausible deniability in almost all his writings. He’s an attention whore who loves the hate the left has for him because of the knee jerk support that hate engenders for him on the right.

          I think that’s kind of what this thread is about. There’s no conversation when one side or the other is rabidly following the lead of the person screaming “burn the witch!”

    • James May says:

      Great. Let’s start by agreeing on a definition of hate speech when it comes to racial and sexual groupings here and now.

  42. David Lang says:

    For those who are trying to draw the distiction between the Sad Puppoes and Rabid Puppies in what Gallo said, it’s important to note that even if that distiction is there, one of the people on the Sad Puppies Slate that she is then calling a neo-Nazi is John C. Wright. This is an Author who’s books are published by Tor and who’s books she has created the covers for and worked with directly (and if they both keep working for Tor, presumably this will happen in the future)

    So, even if you think she didn’t intend to call the Sad Puppies neo-Nazi’s, it seems clear that she did intend to call an author who’s published by Tor and who’s books she is expected to work on in the future a neo-Nazi.

    • jayn says:

      Ms. Gallo said pretty clearly in her FB comment that she was referring to Sad Puppies as “extreme right-wing” and Rabid Puppies as “Neo-nazi”, “respectively.”

      That is, it’s the Rabid Puppies she’s calling Neo-Nazis. So unless Wright self-identifies as a Rabid Puppy, then Gallo’s not calling him a neo-nazi…nor is she calling any author on their slate a neo-nazi, unless you seriously affirm that any author that appears on a Rabid Puppy slate becomes a Rabid Puppy, willy-nilly.

      • David Lang says:

        The anti-puppies have been calling anyone on the RP slate a rabid puppy. Just like they’ve been balling anyone on the SP slate a sad puppy (if they aren’t calling them a rabid one because Vox Day copied most of the SP slate)

        And the comments about the quality of the authors involved is going to apply.

        • jayn says:

          We’re not talking about a nebulous group of “anti-puppies”. We’re talking about one person, Ms. Gallo, who called the Rabid Puppies neo-nazis.

          So unless you can show that the authors on the RP slate identify THEMSELVES as Rabid Puppies (and I rather doubt you can), then you cannot say that Ms Gallo called those authors neo-nazis.

          • Bibliotheca Servare says:

            But Mr. Flint can, and did. And he was correct. Weaselly parsing of a hateful statement to make it seem less hateful is the mark of a disingenuous, juvenile mind. Mr Wright felt he had been called a Neo-Nazi, and Mz. Gallo’s “apology” stated that she had “painted” authors published by Tor with her “too broad” brush. She did not state that she had not meant to tar the authors on the slates with the “brush” you allege was only aimed at the “self identifying” members of those groups; in fact, she mentioned them (the authors) as persons her “brush” (never acknowledging the wrongness of her statement, but rather that she used too broad a brush and “some were hurt”) hurt. But please, pander harder. (I rather doubt you can)
            Ciao! ;-)

  43. Jon says:

    @Mr. Flint,

    Why are you evaluating the truth of the “slate of bad to reprehensible works” statement based only on the best novel nominees, only two out of five of which were on the puppy slates? There are plenty of other categories with higher up to total puppy dominance in which to look for bad and reprehensible, though by the accounts of most reviewers at least some of the slated works are at least competent, and probably only a few are arguably reprehensible, depending on what the onlooker considers beyond the pale.

  44. Chris Clark says:

    Dear Mr. Flint,

    Thank you for continuing to speak out on the issues associated with this year’s Hugo awards and the Sad/Rabid Puppies groups. I have found your posts to be consistently reasonable and appreciate the calm basis with which you have approached these matters.

    A few times I have found myself weary enough of nasty rhetoric coming from both sides to consider dropping scifi from my reading pile and each time I thought, “Well, let me see what Eric Flint has to say before I go down that path.” While have no illusions about anyone noticing (or being concerned about) the absence of one more fan from the legions, I do appreciate that there are folks like yourself who still strive to be fair-minded in the midst of the mess.

  45. Viktor, is necessary the necessary standard? If so, why?

  46. As always, thank you for your sound and rational comments.

    As I have said before: All across the universe, fen stand in awe and admiration at the ability of Hugo fandom to revive that most ancient and honorable rite, the all-hobby fan feud. It’s truly amazing.

    Thank you also for bothering to tell us who Irene Gallo is. I’ve never heard of her before.

  47. ticticbooom says:

    Tor delenda est.

  48. Bill Wade says:

    Speaking as an reader of SF&F from authors on both sides of this controversy, and having no particular interest in the Hugo awards, I make th following observations:
    1. The attitudes ascribed by the Sad Puppies to the “leftists” who appear to dominate the publishing industry and its periphery are real. The rancor and contempt displayed in their blog and social media commentary is unmistakable, and senior personnel at Tor have participated.
    2. At least some of the principals and supporters of the SP group quite predictably engaged with a matching level of hyperbole, but not nearly with the same effort or reach.
    3. Irene Gallo’s apology was utterly insincere. She displayed contempt and dismissal of those who objected to her mischaracterizations in a public forum, speaking in her role as a staff member of Tor, and her apology in no way convinced me that her beliefs have altered.
    4. Having observed the behavior of Gallo and the Nielsen Hayden’s, were I a politically conservative author, I would never sign with Tor, and I have absolutely no doubt that they would prefer it that way.

    • Calbeck says:

      In all cases, what we are seeing here is an active chilling of speech between what one publisher or another considers “tolerable” or even “hate speech”. Tor, being the largest publisher with the most reach, SHOULD be the one making the biggest pushback against that mentality — not adopting it as unwritten policy.

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      Hear hear.

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