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posted by LaminatorX on Monday April 13 2015, @11:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the Livejournal-still-works dept.

From the The Guardian.

Introducing the Sad Puppies...

"The shortlists for the long-running American genre awards, won in the past by names from Kurt Vonnegut to Ursula K Le Guin and voted for by fans, were announced this weekend to uproar in the science fiction community, after it emerged that the line-up corresponded closely with the slates of titles backed by certain conservative writers. The self-styled "Sad Puppies" campaigners had set out to combat what orchestrator and writer Brad Torgersen had criticised as the Hugos' tendency to reward "literary" and "ideological" works.

Today's Hugos, Torgersen has blogged, "have lost cachet, because at the same time SF/F has exploded popularly – with larger-than-life, exciting, entertaining franchises and products – the voting body of 'fandom' have tended to go in the opposite direction: niche, academic, overtly to the Left in ideology and flavor, and ultimately lacking what might best be called visceral, gut-level, swashbuckling fun".

Twenty years ago, he writes, "if you saw a lovely spaceship on a book cover, with a gorgeous planet in the background, you could be pretty sure you were going to get a rousing space adventure featuring starships and distant, amazing worlds". Nowadays, he claims, the same jacket is likely to be a story "merely about racial prejudice and exploitation, with interplanetary or interstellar trappings".

And here we have the Rabid Puppies definitely not mentioning GamerGate:

Another group of allied rightwing campaigners, dubbing themselves the Rabid Puppies and led by Vox Day, real name Theodore Beale, have also added their voices to the block-voting campaign against what Day called "the left-wing control freaks who have subjected science fiction to ideological control for two decades and are now attempting to do the same thing in the game industry".

And finally a bit of Martin:

"Call it block voting. Call it ballot stuffing. Call it gaming the system. There's truth to all of those characterisations. You can't call it cheating, though. It was all within the rules. But many things can be legal, and still bad ... and this is one of those, from where I sit. I think the Sad Puppies have broken the Hugo awards, and I am not sure they can ever be repaired," he wrote.

"If the Sad Puppies wanted to start their own award ... for Best Conservative SF, or Best Space Opera, or Best Military SF, or Best Old-Fashioned SF the Way It Used to Be ... whatever it is they are actually looking for ... hey, I don't think anyone would have any objections to that. I certainly wouldn't. More power to them," he added. "But that's not what they are doing here, it seems to me. Instead they seem to want to take the Hugos and turn them into their own awards."

 
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  • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @02:42PM

    by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @02:42PM (#169729)

    I'm in the same boat. I stopped reading SF a couple years ago. I wonder now if I was ever really into it.

    Last thing I read was "Enders Game", long before the movie was made, and was blown away by the first book, but very disappointed in the books that followed in that series.

    --
    "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @02:47PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @02:47PM (#169732)

    Soooo very unsurprised by your reaction to those books.

    Manifestation of "Left in ideology and flavor, and ultimately lacking what might best be called visceral, gut-level, swashbuckling fun"

    • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @03:31PM

      by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @03:31PM (#169757)

      True that.

      --
      "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @04:41PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @04:41PM (#169815)

      ... I suppose you can't remain 13 forever.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by SubiculumHammer on Monday April 13 2015, @06:16PM

    by SubiculumHammer (5191) on Monday April 13 2015, @06:16PM (#169894)

    The problem with most books and movies is that I recognize the tropes, but more than just the tropes, I recognize the devices, I recognize the characters, the roles, the rules, the plays, the turn-arounds, I get the overtures, the currents, the trip-tropped funky-dillows. I am jaded because rarely do I read something new, something that makes me wonder at the possibilities. Maybe fiction is exhausted, just like music now wallows in its own tropes unable to innovate, because innovation requires something that can be new, but there is nothing new on the dust of this planet.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @06:26PM

      by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @06:26PM (#169900)

      You know, to me you sound like exactly the type of person that should write your own novel. You're well versed enough to know the genera and you recognize all the common pitfalls. You could probably write something others would really gobble up.

      All you need is a PC and a word processor to get started. Write some short stories.

      I really enjoy occasionally reading http://soylentnews.org/~mcgrew/ [soylentnews.org]

      --
      "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
      • (Score: 2) by GeminiDomino on Monday April 13 2015, @08:49PM

        by GeminiDomino (661) on Monday April 13 2015, @08:49PM (#169981)

        I thought that about myself once. I don't know about GP, but I never got any further than the plotting because I always caught myself mixing the same old tropes that I'm so tired of. It made me feel like a hack.

        --
        "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
        • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Monday April 13 2015, @09:01PM

          by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday April 13 2015, @09:01PM (#169989)

          Humans have been creating art and stories for tens of thousands of years. I highly doubt there isn't anything that can't be boiled down to belonging to a "trope" of some kind. I think it's stupid. "Oh, we can't have a princess get kidnapped, that's a damsel in distress trope!", Yeah so what? It doesn't matter that that's a tired plot device as long as you can do something interesting with it. I really hate it when people strip away all of the interesting points in a story, the journey that takes place, the character development, the source of conflict and the resolution and pull out the one thing that makes the story "bad" because it's been used by other people to push their stories.

          Things become tropes for a reason, if works. There's no sense listening to the people that get butthurt over it, they're not good enough to do any better so they spend all their time criticising how badly everyone else is doing it instead.

          If you have a story to write, even if it's only for your own amusement, do it. I would, but I have my hands full writing a game (others who aren't programmers are doing the story) and making wooden clocks when I'm not at work.

          --
          "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
          • (Score: 3, Touché) by GeminiDomino on Tuesday April 14 2015, @01:53AM

            by GeminiDomino (661) on Tuesday April 14 2015, @01:53AM (#170149)

            Oh, the last things I'm worried about is offending people. My concern over tropes has nothing to do with them being "Vs. Women", just that, as you've said, there's been so many stories written that every trope has been done to death, played with to death, inverted to death, and lampshaded to death: nothing I try to do with them feels "interesting."

            On the bright side, at least I'm avoiding Dunning-Kruger.

            --
            "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by SubiculumHammer on Monday April 13 2015, @11:52PM

        by SubiculumHammer (5191) on Monday April 13 2015, @11:52PM (#170086)

        Ha! If only I had time away from my research.

        The few short-stories I've written with any hope of being good have been deeply personal confessionals about regrets, sins, and quandaries...but my life has been very lovely after meeting my wife.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @06:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13 2015, @06:35PM (#169906)
    soft SF:
    Walter Tevis' Mockingbird [wikipedia.org] - 1981 Hugo nominee Miéville [wikipedia.org] has written interesting stuff; I liked embassytown and the city & the city.

    hard SF:
    Cixin's Three Body Problem [wikipedia.org]

    fantasy:
    anything by Jo Walton [wikipedia.org], particularly Among Others [wikipedia.org] which was 2012 Hugo winner, has hundreds of recommendations of good SF/fantasy inside the story itself.

    I tried re-reading Foundation about ten years ago (which I loved as a kid) and was astonished how badly written it is. Standards change as we get older...
  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday April 14 2015, @03:26AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday April 14 2015, @03:26AM (#170186) Homepage

    It's not that I've stopped reading it (tho I don't do nearly as much reading as I used to... since I started writing myself, the editor in my head won't shut up) but that almost every time I read SF/F from the past 15 years or so, I feel an overwhelming urge to wash my brain out with SF/F from the 1980s. It's not because of the tiresome messagefic thing (that tends to just turn me off a given author, not other SF/F), it's the *sameness*. The lack of that feeling of seeing something new and wonderful (or terrifying). The lack of distinct voices and distinct characters and distinct worlds. The feeling like these younger authors are reinventing the wheel (and not getting it quite round) because of insufficient grounding in the genre's classics (whether they like 'em or not, they need to be aware of 'em).

    I say this with probably 12,000+ SF/F books under my belt, from the earliest days onward, so I think I'm basing this on a tolerably broad spectrum.