The sadly rabid puppies: Link update

I’ve been hanging out with friends and family I don’t see very often, so I haven’t been following the whole sock puppies scandal very closely. But it keeps cropping up on various discussion threads and lists I’m on, and I can’t help but reading up on the scandal. Here are some of the better posts I’ve come across in recent days.

My Clarion West instructor George R.R. Martin wrote an excellent summary on why the sad puppies are rather deluded regarding their feeling of being excluded by the new, evilly diversified SF of recent years:

http://grrm.livejournal.com/418285.html

George also wrote a highly recommended follow-up post on Hatespeech:

http://grrm.livejournal.com/419232.html

My fellow Villa Diodati member, Floris Kleinje, provides a great analysis of the ballot and what to do about it. While I don’t agree with his solution for the future (making voting memberships so cheap anyone could vote), he provides a very considered, informative summary:

https://floriskleijne.nl/wp/blog-entry/sledgehammers-and-teacups/

Obviously, the Hugos are broken and mean absolutely nothing this year, but hopefully somewhere down the road the system can be fixed in such a way that excellent SF can once again be rewarded with a major award.

Second quarter goals

I got a bit sidetracked yesterday by the hijacking of the Hugo Awards for SFF, which I wrote about in my last post. Now that is off my chest, I can get back to business: my goals for the next quarter.

For the next couple of weeks, this list and my blog will be largely on hiatus while I try to catch up with relatives on another continent.

Shards of Glass Writing:

– Write an average of 2500 words a week.

– Finish Shards of Glass (that btw is not the final cover, so any and all comments and suggestions welcome!)

– Write 3 new short stories

– Revise “Pool of Souls” and send it out

Blog:

– Write a report on Villa Diodati 14

– Wrap up the series “Starting out as an indie author”

– Update my book page here and on my web page, ruthnestvold.com

Writing business:

– 500 words a day of translation

– Schedule more promotions for my books

– List books with Babelcube & Noisetrade

– Publish “Starting Out as an Indie Author” as ebook

– Publish “The Shadow Artist” as ebook

– Put together collection of my writing articles with Jay Lake

– Put together collection of fantasy stories with Jay

– Write newsletter update for my subscribers

– Find more reviewers for CIAM and Island of Glass

– Start splitting up Shadow of Stone like I did Yseult

Wishing everyone a successful Round of Words!

The Hijacked Hugo Awards, 2015: New Tales of Beset Manhood

Ignore the dinosaurs

Well, that at least was what I intended to do when I first found out what was behind the exceedingly odd list of Hugo nominations this year. What, no Asimov’s? No F&SF, Strange Horizons, Interzone, or any of the other big names besides Analog? And who in the blue blazes is this John C. Wright person, who has THREE nominations in the novella category, as well as one each in short story and novelette? I cannot think of a single heavy-hitter in SFF in my lifetime who has dominated the ballot that way. And how in the world is some unknown publisher by the name of Castalia House so prominent among the nominations? And PATRIARCHY HOUSE? Where in the world are we now? How can this possibly be the specfic world I know and love?

I haven’t been very active in the SFF community for a number of years, although it is still what I read and write. But aside from the Villa Diodati workshop for writers of specfic in Europe, which I founded almost a decade ago, I don’t often go to the places where writers in my genre hang out anymore, aside from a few intimate spots on the Internet. Before all this crap hit the fan, I hadn’t even heard of the poor Sad Puppies (not not to mention their more rabid counterparts, the Rabid Puppies), who feel so irked and threatened by ethnic diversity and literary SF that they started a campaign to free “their” genre from the yoke of what they call “SJWs” (Social Justice Warriors, a term I also only learned today) and lead it back into the “Golden Age” of SF.

The problem is, it’s my genre too. And I never liked the “Golden Age” of SF. In high school, I cut my teeth on The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness, still two of my favorite books. Those books are all full of politics and gender issues and sexual diversity. The freedom to make up worlds like that was what I always loved about speculative fiction.

This new big uprising of the dinosaurs hit me out of the blue. And I tried to ignore it, I really did. But then I realized I had to add my 2c just so I could get all this crap out of my brain and get back to important stuff like writing and translating and preparing for the next trip.

Here a quote from the discussion thread over on the Passive Guy blog from “Kudzu Bob”, a supporter of the poor Sock, er Sad Puppies:

As for the SJWs, they think that racial, religious, and sexual diversity is a supreme good that somehow magically increases the sum total of human happiness, but is this really the case? As sci-fi fandom has grown more and more heterogeneous in nature, it also has become more and more divided against itself, at least to judge by recent developments. And if diversity makes people more miserable rather then less, then the SJWs are doomed to failure, no matter how noble their intentions.

Um, no. I don’t have any noble intentions. I don’t vote for what I think is best for world peace, I vote for what I like. Certain tropes bore me and make it impossible for me to read to the end — while for some readers it will be precisely those tropes that will make them clap their hands enthusiastically. There should be room for both of us, for all of us. I like diversity. I realize that there are many people out there who do not, but that does not mean they are liberating me from some onerous chore when they impose their uniformity on me. I don’t feel any misery in the online and face2face SF community I have, despite our national, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, and religious diversity. We get along just fine, thank you, despite our differences. Sometimes we even learn from each other.

I also like “literary” SF. I admit, I have a PhD in English Literature, (luckily the eggs that will now be thrown at me are only virtual) but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be entertained. For me, SF with a literary sensibility gives me the best of all worlds: great plots with beautiful language exploring meaningful themes. Not tough guys stomping out monsters or conquering new planets. Of course there is a place for that for people who want to read it, but how in the world did it become something that involved some poor sad sock puppies hijacking the Hugo ballot?

This all reminds me of a little kerfuffle in the SFF community 10 years ago which inspired an article I wrote with Jay Lake for IROSF, which is still online, although the zine has folded, “Tough Times for Beset Manhood: Or, Where Has Good Old Golden Age SF Gone?” The Sad Puppies movement is definitely (among others) a male thing. While the poor deprived male puppies put a handful of token women on their slate, the list is predominantly male authors. With the exception of one woman writer (whom I know and like), I can’t find a single woman who supports these poor puppies.

This is much bigger than the few flame wars on various discussion forums that inspired me and Jay 10 years ago, however. It has deprived a number of writers whose names were not on the sock puppies list of a chance to be nominated for a major award.

I feel like a sad puppy today too.


Clay Hackett (Flickr, Creative Commons)

A bunch of people who have said much more meaningful stuff than me on the issue:

Matthew David Surridge

Charlie Jane Anders

Chuck Wendig

John Scalzi

A Note About the Hugo Nominations This Year

Ruth Nestvold:

What do do when the Hugos get hijacked:

Originally posted on Whatever:

It is:

1. Yes, I’ve seen the slate. The slate shows up even in Australia! And I woke up early because I crashed from exhaustion last night before 7pm. Finishing a book takes it out of you.

2. I’m very pleased for the several friends and/or writers who are on the ballot this year. This includes everyone in the Best Novel category, all of whom I consider friends, and any of whom I would be happy to see take home a rocket this year. And as always, I congratulate all the nominees for the Hugo and the Campbell. It’s fun to be nominated, and nice to get recognition. I’ll be voting.

3. This year I’ll do what I always do when voting for the Hugos, which is to rank the nominees every category according to how I think they (and/or their particular works in question) deserve to ranked. Preferential balloting is…

View original 648 more words

Quarterly progress report and a #WIPpet snippet

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get to this today. I’m flying to Spain tomorrow for the next Villa Diodati workshop. But I’m almost done packing now, so my head is free for a blog post after all.

I’ll start with the final update for this Round of Words. If you’re here only for WIPpet Wednesday, feel free to skip. :)

Here are my goals from the beginning of the quarter:

Writing:

– Write an average of 4000 words a week – MADE IT! 53,300 words in 12 weeks. The weekly output was up and down quite a bit, but it managed to average out to more than my initial goal. Nice when that happens. :)

– Finish Facets of Glass – First draft complete!

– Write 5 new short stories – Not quite – I wrote 3.

Blog:

– Write a report of the Villa Diodati workshop (finally!)- Never got around to this, and now it just seems silly, so long after the workshop. :/

– Write a new installment of “Starting out as an indie author” every other week – YES!

– Update my book page (LONG overdue!) – Ooops, ‘fraid not …

Writing business:

– Write New Year newsletter for my subscribers – Didn’t get around to this one either …

– Schedule upcoming promotions for my books – Did a lot of these! And it’s paying off. :)

– List books with Babelcube & Noisetrade – Nope

– Publish last episode of Yseult – DONE!

– Publish “The Shadow Artist” as ebook – Nope

– Publish Chameleon in a Mirror to Createspace – DONE!

– Find reviewers for CIAM and Island of Glass – DONE!

I’m pretty happy with my progress this round. :)

On to WIPpet Wednesday! For today, 2+5 = 7 short paragraphs from Facets of Glass. This scene comes right after the one I gave you last week:

By the next day, all of Venice knew of Minerva’s mysterious fainting spell, and how she still had not regained consciousness. When Anastacia declared her intention to visit her sister, Gaetano was considering bribing one of the Foscari guards assigned to go with her when he was called into the dowager princess’s presence again.
“Gaetano, I would like you to go with the princess to Murano. While you are there, I need you to try and find the apple for me and bring it back. Do you think you can do that?”
Seeing as it was exactly what he’d been intending to do, he certainly hoped so. But if he did find it, he was not bringing it back to Palazzo Foscari. He did not know what magic the apple held, he only knew he did not want Princess Zilia to have it.
He bowed. “I will do my best, Your Grace.”
She gave him one of her most charming smiles. “Thank you, Gaetano. I will give you command of the house guard for the trip. That should allow you more freedom of movement.”
“Very good, Your Grace.”
He wondered how long he would be in her favor when he failed to find the apple.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

Because of the travel, I’m afraid I won’t be getting to other folks’ blog for several days — just a little “sorry” in advance. :) But I’ll be “seeing” you all again soon!

What became of the apple? A #WIPpet Wednesday snippet.

Before I get back to Facets of Glass, a brief update on my progress for the week. I continue to move forward steadily on the translation. It certainly helps that the first book in the series, Ein Krieger der Wikinger, is selling like gangbusters. Since Jud and I have a translation model where I am paid much less up front for a much higher percentage of the royalties, that means it probably won’t be too much longer before I’ve earned out on my advance for the translation and will start earning from the first book. In addition, most of the reviews so far express eagerness to read the next book in the series. :)

Despite the translation work, I’m maintaining a much better balance between that and my own writing than I did while working on the first book. Last week, I got 3500 new words written, in a addition to the formatting of Chameleon in a Mirror for Createspace. So far this week, I got the wraparound cover made and uploaded and have gotten about 1200 words on my own stuff written. Not breaking any records, but as long as I can continue to make consistent progress in the face of translation, I’ll be happy.

Chameleon in a Mirror cover

With the update out of the way, let’s move on to Facets of Glass, shall we? Gaetano just reported back to the Dowager Princess after taking the glass apple to Minerva. Today I will continue the scene right where we left off last week, with 18 sentences for the day of the month — plus one to finish the scene:

“And the apple?” the princess asked — much too casually.
He pretended innocence. “The apple?”
“What became of it? The gift?”
Gaetano shrugged. “I fear I do not know, Your Grace. When the prince’s sister-in-law lost consciousness, I was only concerned for her well-being.”
“As of course you should.” To his ears, it sounded as if the words were recited by rote. A brief pause. “So you have no idea what became of it?”
“Of what, Your Grace?” he said, although he knew exactly what she referred to.
“The apple.” Now there was a hint of impatience in her voice.
“When the signorina lost consciousness, it must have rolled away. I did not see it after that.” Now he was almost certain that the apple had something to do with Minerva’s mishap. But what could the dowager princess possibly have against the young woman?

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,365 other followers

%d bloggers like this: