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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 fritsd on Monday April 13 2015, @09:01PM

    by fritsd (4586) on Monday April 13 2015, @09:01PM (#169988) Journal

    If you don't like Canticle, Phoenix666, then I label you a "difficult customer" :-)

    I dunno.. I read far less in the last decade. I liked Charles Stross (Accelerando, Halting State), Vernor Vinge (Rainbows End, A Fire Upon the Deep, A Deepness in the Sky). Plus lots from Iain (M.) Banks. That's about it, really.

    Have you ever tried to read Samuel R. Delaney's Triton? (Difficult to read! (well, for me anyways)) or Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow? (Not SF, and very difficult to read!!!). I mention these because you're difficult, so maybe you like difficult books :-)

    In the category "Fantasy": maybe Robert Holdstock's sequel to "Mythago Wood", "Lavondyss", or Terry Pratchett's "The Fifth Elephant" (It's the only Discworld book that I still feel like I don't understand it well)

    In the category Non-Fiction, subcategory "OMG we're all gonna die": John Michael Greer's "The Long Descent: A User's Guide to the End of the Industrial Age". Buy it on real paper, just in case ;-). An incredibly uplifting and motivating book, and it shows the writer understands fairy-tales. And add to that Jared Diamond's Collapse maybe (don't read if you're depressive).

    In the category "Literature", try a translation of Harry Mulisch's "De Aanslag": "The Assault", or watch the film it's not half bad either.

    In the category "Now for something completely different", go watch the Russian Masha i Medved children's cartoon films on youtube. You don't need to understand Russian to understand the Bear's grunts.

    Please respond one day if any of these were of interest to you. I'm a grumpyoldman-in-training, so keeping grumpy old men entertained is important to my own future well-being.

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  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday April 13 2015, @09:43PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday April 13 2015, @09:43PM (#170018) Journal

    No, I haven't encountered those before, so thanks for the recommendations (and thanks to the other Soylentils who recommended books & authors). I will check them out. I may be a difficult customer, I don't know; the last series I enjoyed were Kim Stanley Robinson's [Red | Green | Blue] Mars books, and Neal Stephenson's books, but even he started to lose me in the Baroque Cycle. Casting further back standouts for me were David Brin's Startide Rising and Frank Herbert's Dune books.

    Of course when I was younger I read and enjoyed piles of SF that basically boiled down to "What if?" scenarios, because I didn't have a lot of life experience under my belt and none of the university education about the systems of thought that underlie literature. Now that I've had those things and have had access to various corridors of celebrity and power, too, that sort of story doesn't hold my attention any more. Even the richly imagined universe-approach, while I can respect it as an intellectual endeavor and artistic achievement, loses me because it seems to lack deeper meaning.

    I know English and Literature geeks would probably urge me to read Brothers Karamazov or Madame Bovary or something, but the minutiae of 18th century French society or the inner workings of feudal Russian serfdom are dull & dreary. It calls to mind the experience of slogging through the entire Iliad for that one scene where Hector bids farewell to his wife and son on the Walls of Troy. Great scene, very human moment, but *shudder*, the rest is so tedious and pointless...

    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 1) by JamestheWanderer on Tuesday April 14 2015, @03:23AM

      by JamestheWanderer (5206) on Tuesday April 14 2015, @03:23AM (#170183)

      You might also want to take a look at William Gibson [Idoru, All Tomorrow's Parties] and John Ringo / Linda Evans [The Road to Damascus]. Have your read C.J. Cherryh's [Foreigner] series? Culture clash on a vast scale.

    • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Tuesday April 14 2015, @09:38AM

      by fritsd (4586) on Tuesday April 14 2015, @09:38AM (#170300) Journal

      I'll keep Kim Stanley Robinson in mind, I've heard that before. Brothers Karamazov is the only book that *literally* bored me to tears. I exclaimed: "how many more pages are they going to be blabbering on about that dead priest?!?". 75 IIRC. Different times, I guess.

      20th century Russians are OK, I've tried (in translation) Aleksander Solzhenitsyn(sp?) (boring, sorry) and Anatoli Rybakov. But it's all quite .. plodding .. compared to the 6 minutes of pure joy of every Masha i Medved episode (suitable for children, except the episodes with the jam jar which they shouldn't emulate).

      Gravity's Rainbow is from the 1950s IIRC and difficult to get into. But I've not often read a stranger book than that, which is an experience in itself.