Monster Hunter Nation

Does my Cismale Hate Mongery Know No Bounds?! Responding to Jim Hines.

So apparently Jim C. Hines didn’t like my response to Tor.com’s blogger wanting to end the default to binary gender. http://www.jimchines.com/2014/01/fiskception/ Jim is one of those noble crusaders, best known for raising awareness and protecting authors from the evils of having attractive women on book covers (you know, that stuff the marketing department does in order to try and get people interested enough to pick up our product in stores long enough to read the back cover blurb, to try and better sell our books).

If you want this to make sense, make sure you read this first. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/ending-binary-gender-in-fiction-or-how-to-murder-your-writing-career/

I’m unfamiliar with Hines’ work. I think I might have been on a panel with him at a con once because it sounds familiar. I actually thought he was the new SFWA president, but that’s somebody else. I looked him up on Wikipedia. We’re the same age. He has an eight year head start on me for being published, so he’s been around. We’ve even written the same number of books.

Interesting. He wrote a “rape awareness novel”… I taught hundreds of women how to shoot rapists while certifying them to carry concealed firearms. I’m sure me and Jim will get along super good.

So let’s have some fun.

Since it is very confusing for the readers to fisk the fisk of a fisking, I’m just going to have me and Him here, and I’m not going to quote my entire original response.  My comments are in bold. Hines are in italics.

This is gonna be a long one.

Not really. He mostly hits and runs and does some check listing. I’m the long winded one.

The backstory: Author Alex Dally MacFarlane wrote an article called Post-Binary Gender in SF: An Introduction over at Tor.com, calling for “an end to the default of binary gender in science fiction stories.”

One week later, author Larry Correia wrote a response to MacFarlane’s piece, called Ending Binary Gender in Fiction, or How to Murder Your Writing Career. (Side note: you’ll probably want to avoid the comments on that one.)

That last part is very interesting. You’ll probably want to avoid the comments… Why? Because I don’t edit them in anyway or “massage” them? Between the blog post and the corresponding Facebook post, I’ve got a few hundred comments. Of those, there are a handful that are very mean (this is the internet) but most of them are reasonable, and interestingly enough I’ve also got homosexuals and transsexuals who posted in the comments who thought the original Tor blog post was as ham fisted as I did.

I tried to ignore it. There’s no way I’m going to change Correia’s mind about this stuff, any more than his post changed my thinking. But of course, there are a lot of other people lurking and participating in the conversation,

He’s correct. Arguing is a spectator sport. You don’t waste your time on the already decided, you convince the undecided, and give ammo to your side. If there isn’t an audience, don’t waste your time.

and while I know this is going to do bad things to my blood pressure, I think it’s a conversation worth having.

Heh… My blood pressure is fine. Arguing with lefties on the internet is what I do to relax.

In my last fisk, I talked about how the blog post was angsty emo bullshit.

I wonder which is more angsty … an author calling for our genre to move beyond binary gender, or another author spending 4000+ words about how people like MacFarlane are symbolic of everything that’s wrong with the genre, and are destroying fun.

The original. Obviously.  Nice check listing though. I wrote lots of words, ergo, that’s angsty… Or it could just be that I’m a WRITER who averages 3k of paying fiction a day, I threw that thing together while I was waiting for the matinee of I Frankenstein to start. Considering half of those words were a cut and paste of the original Tor article… Man… That means Jim Hines just wrote SIX THOUSAND WORDS to respond! Holy shit. That’s hard core!

PROTIP: Your editor does not like to pay you for the words you cut and paste from other people’s blogs. 🙂

Destroying fun?  Quite the contrary. If you’d bothered to read the comments then you know my readers have had a whole lot of fun with this. Oh! You mean destroying the fun of reading sci-fi and killing off our slowly dwindling genre. Well, yeah. That’s sort of the point. 

I wrote my post for the aspiring authors who might read Tor.com and think that Ending Binary Gender in Sci-Fi was good advice. I pointed out that when you write with the goal of checking boxes to satisfy the cause of the day, your writing will probably suck.

I agree that if you’re writing a story with the kind of checklist Correia describes, you’re probably going to get a bad story.

Yep. But I said it in a mean way that hurt their delicate lilac scented feelings.

But what exactly are the suggestions Correia objects to? MacFarlane never says all writers must now include at least one non-binary character. She says only that she wants readers to be aware of non-binary texts, and wants writers to stop defaulting to them. Not that authors should never write cismale or cisfemale characters. Just be aware that there are other choices, and make conscious choices about your writing.

Uh… No. That’s not what she said. For example, from the original:

I want an end to the default of binary gender in science fiction stories.

—I want to never again read entire anthologies of SF stories or large-cast novels where every character is binary-gendered

I then went through why that was really dumb from a business perspective.

Jim then cherry picks through hundreds of comments to find the following super offensive hatey-hate monger, which proves that not only am I a bad person for allowing this hate speech, but my readers are knuckle dragging Klan members. 

From the comments to Correia’s piece:

  • “I am so tired of these pretentious twats. Err, dicks.      Err… pre-op alternative genitals.”

That was an attempt at humor, as in I want to call you a name, but I’m not sure what the proper post binary gender acceptable genitalia are. 

  • “The hilarious thing is my books are filled with      characters who are non-white, non-male, non-straight, occasionally trans      and from a mixmaster of genetic and cultural backgrounds … But I don’t      write books for leftist pussies so they’ve never read my books.”

Ah, interesting. I notice you cherry picked this one and left out the fact it was written by well known and successful science fiction author Michael Z. Williamson, whose books actually have tons of homosexual and transgender main characters, including the primary PoV in a few, yet the SFWA crowd you hang out with actually despise him even more than they dislike me, because as a libertarian and an immigrant, he argues against big government and statists.

  • “If this is the level of education of the typical      WorldCon voter, it’s no wonder the GOOD writers don’t win awards. These      loonies wouldn’t recognize good writing if Earl Harbinger yanked out their      guts and used the intestines to piece out quotes from Jane Austen.”

Yep. Somebody said something mean on the internet. Holy shit. How will you live?

Do we really want to start arguing about what one’s commenters say about one’s audience?

Why, yes. Let’s do exactly that.

From those same comments Hines warns people not to read:

  1. Aaaand once again the LGBTWTFBBQ community I refuse to participate in does not cease to disappoint. As a transgendered Iraq-war Veteran enjoying the GI Bill benefits awarded by my beautiful country I have plenty of time to read again, and I own everything Grimnoir, Monster Hunter, or Lorenzo-related (coolest character I’ve read yet Mr. Correria, please do it again, and take more of my money), I think I derive a special amount of amusement from this exchange.

Because you see, in the end, Alex MacFarlane doesn’t give half a shit about me, any more than she does about the ozone or whatever. She simply, today, finds me to be a convenient bludgeon with which to cow all the lesser unenlightened beings into her groupthink, including me. (Confusing logistics there, but yes, that’s how the LGBTWTFBBQ community treats any non-card carrying socialist.) Tomorrow she may not, she may decide to throw me under the bus for polar bears or food stamps soaked in methadone or whatever.

Whereas the kind Mr. Correia just wants to sell me books. In these books, monsters are fought (both the creature and man types) by badasses I want to drink with.

Or this:

  1. Good lord. I’m an active member of a number of liberal groups, I regularly have discussions on cultural gender norms and sexuality, I actually think a study of historical gender narratives might be kind of interesting, and this kind of crap makes me want to vote Republican just to spite this person. Writing a character as non/alternative-gendered because you wanted to increase the diversity of the cast, instead of because said identity fit the character, means you’re writing backward.

For those of you who are decrying liberals as a group, keep in mind that this person is about as representative of the average liberal as actual racists are of the average conservative, or Alex Jones is of the average gun owner

 

Wow. Feel the hatey-hate mongery of the Monster Hunter Nation.

As for that first one where you play the humorless finger shaking card, here is the rest of the joke you left out:

Let’s not be Cisgendered Gendernormative Fascists. They’re obviously “twicks” and “dats”. Except for the ones that excrete eggs/and or sperm, and please, not on the rug. . .

And

How dare you be so domainist! Think of all the plants, fungi, molds, and plankton you are discriminating against! You should also be including seeds, spores, and mitosis in your post-binary gender message lit.

How dare people make jokes about such a super important topic? Don’t they realize the internet is for serious business? 

I pointed out several of my posters on Facebook said their polite and disagreeing comments on the Tor.com site had been deleted.

If Tor.com is deleting comments for disagreement, then that’s a serious problem. But skimming through the 100+ comments on the article, I find plenty that disagree with MacFarlane, or argue with what she’s saying. Tor.com does have a moderation policy, so I’d expect comments that violated that policy to get booted. Beyond that, I don’t know the details of the allegedly polite commenters who claim to have been booted for not cheerleading enough,

He doesn’t know the details, so good thing he warned his readers not to read those details from my readers in my comments.

so there’s not much more for me to say about this one.

Except for when he does again later.

Hines obviously doesn’t get most of the running jokes here on MHN, so he’s totally oblivious why I talked about the Typical WorldCon Voter, but luckily you guy know how to combat the scourge of Puppy Related Sadness. 

Because calling for an awareness that not all people fit into a simple binary gender system = KILL ALL THE SCIENCE FICTION!!!

Already pointed out, so we all know that’s not what she said. 

What’s killing all the science fiction is the preponderance of boring ass message fic turning off readers and causing the genre’s sales numbers to shrink.

In other news, I believe we should do something about racism in this country, which actually means I WANT TO DESTROY AMERICA!1!!!1!

Well, Jim, that depends on what that “something” you want to do about racism is. If it is throwing more tax money at failed bullshit social programs that have destroyed the nuclear family in America’s inner cities, equal opportunity nonsense, race baiting, or the other typical divisive nonsense the democrats use to keep Americans divided into easily managed voting blocks, then I would have to say that is bad for America.  

Now, if you want to bring up racial issues in your fiction, and do it as a compelling part of the story, awesome. I’ve done that, repeatedly. If you want to write some heavy handed message fic, then it will probably fail miserably. That was sort of my point that you insist on missing.

Adding a cut-tag here, because I am a merciful blogger…

Not really, because what follows is a confusing mishmash of the original, my response, and Jim’s response to my response. Mercy would be taking the original behind the barn and giving it the Old Yellar treatment.

How dare people want things! How ridiculous that people want things I don’t personally agree with! You empty headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction.

I suspect Jim is new at fisking.

Then I mistakenly referred to the original author as a he, and even put in that I wasn’t aware what sex Alex was. 

  1. 1.     Alex MacFarlane is female.

Hines pounces like a cat!

2. You ask what the default is that she wants to end. She answers that in the following paragraph. Which doesn’t seem to stop you from running off to declare gender = chromosomal/biological sex.

Don’t you just hate when words have definitions and stuff?

Cismale gendernomrative fascist? Whatever.

Jim wasn’t around for that part. See, as a writer who doesn’t “massage” his comments in any way other than deleting spam and the occasional crazy person death threat, I will often have people who disagree, and sometimes even really hate my guts, show up to argue with me, and holy crap, I actually LET THEM. (liberal bloggers just gasped) Somebody called me that term as an insult. I had to look it up. It made me laugh, so I’ve been using it ever since. (it means man born as a man who still identifies himself as a man and thinks men are usually men and women are usually women, and fascist) We’ve been laughing about it for a year now.

Because if you use the word cismale or gendernormative in a regular conversation and you’re not being ironic, odds are you are a pretentious douche with a gender studies degree. 

What Correia is displaying here is his awareness that he’s making an assumption, his awareness that the assumption might be wrong, and his unwillingness to do 30 seconds of research to verify his assumption. Either because he’s lazy, or because he doesn’t see any need to treat people he disagrees with respectfully. Or both.

I didn’t look up the author’s sex and mistakenly referred to her as a she. Of course, I don’t actually give a shit what sex Alex is, because I’m going to judge an idea on its merits rather than the sex, race, national origin, orientation, or religious beliefs of its creator, and this was a dumb idea, but hey, hate monger or something. 

But if Jim had read the comments, he’d know that one of my smart readers pointed out I was simply paying homage to Left Hand of Darkness with the Him pronoun. 🙂

As for me being the lazy writer… In 5 years I’ve published 10 novels, a couple dozen short stories, 1 novella, several hundred blog posts, and for most of that time I still had my day job as the finance manager of Utah’s small business of the year, where I managed millions of dollars worth of complex military contracts and government auditing. So safe money is on I just don’t give a shit. 

I talked about what Tor.com wanted us to do. Hines disagrees with my assessment.

Read more carefully. The Western cultural norm is to genders; that doesn’t mean two genders is exclusively a Western cultural norm. See also, nickels are coins, but not all coins are nickels.

And yes, male and female are cultural norms in pretty much every human society EVER! Except Mesopotamia, India, Siberia, Illiniwek, Olmec, Aztec, Maya, Thailand, Lakota, Blackfoot, Indonesia, Swahili, Azande, and all of the other cultures that historically or currently acknowledge the existence of more than two genders.

Wait a minute… Other than the long dead obscure ones, I’m actually familiar with a few of those cultures and I call bullshit. Now, I’m not a gender studies major (my degree is in accounting, because I like not living on food stamps while begging my local college for a guest lecturer position) but I think in most of those he’s trying to cite like India and Thailand there was a small contingent of the population that was gelded, served as sex toys, or other corner cases, but even then, the norms in each of those would be male and female. And a couple of those he cites have to be a wild ass guess, because anthropologists know dick (or whatever the acceptable post binary genitalia is) about some of those civilizations.

But even if true, pointless, since I’m giving advice to aspiring writers, and unless they’re trying to sell books to the Olmecs or ancient Mesopotamia, then everything I said about sticking to story first and foremost rather than message of the day stands. 

I said: Also, nitpick. Gender was a grammar term for how you referred to the different sexes. Being male or female is your Sex. Or at least, that’s what the word meant until colleges invented the Gender Studies major for those students who found Liberal Arts way too academically grueling.

Paraphrase: “Ha, ha. People who disagree with me are dumb!”

If you got a student loan in order to get a college degree that barely qualifies you to work at Starbucks the rest of your life, then pretty much. Please, gender studies masters who are living in their parent’s basement, go occupy some street somewhere and demand a bailout for your student loans.

Hmmm… You might be sensing Larry Correia doesn’t have much respect for the soft degrees. YOU THINK?!

I then said that I think story comes first. Never message. Story. I explained why this article was bad advice, in depth, repeatedly.

I … actually, I pretty much agree with him here.

Because I am totally correct. They know it. However, a mean right winger said hurtful things and interrupted the circle jerk of like-minded people telling each other how brilliant they are, so the wagons must be circled.

People read for story, not for checklists or quotas or lectures. I see nothing in MakFarlane’s article to suggest she believes any differently.

Except for the parts where she did.

Calling for authors to be more thoughtful about their craft doesn’t mean you’re telling authors to abandon story for MESSAGE.

And Jim does as much disservice missing the original’s point as he does missing mine, so now Jim is trying to re-explain what Alex meant. Good thing that poor young woman has this brave white guy to come in and explain what she REALLY meant to say.

But you know, readers also tend to enjoy stories where they can find characters like themselves. Which is easy if you’re a straight white dude, and gets progressively more difficult the further you stray from that default.

Oh, bullshit. Let’s analyze this for a second… Readers want to enjoy stories where they can find characters like themselves, but to libs like Hines, that always comes down to race and sex, or whatever convenient little box you can put people in. Fuck that. My average reader is probably a white male in his thirties, (judging by my sales and fan base I meet on tour, straight white males are the biggest single group, but really my fans are actually very diverse, but run with it for right now) yet my main series characters are a half-Polynesian mutt, a teenage Okie girl, and a man who grew up in foster care and is of indeterminate genetic heritage (who passes at different times for Hispanic, Indian, or Qatari).

Only my readers do find something of these characters like themselves, only it isn’t race. Owen’s culture is “military brat” and “gun nut” and “has issues with authority”. The first group of fans that “find characters like themselves” with my first main character were Libertarians.  Faye is a homicidal maniac with a good heart. Lorenzo is a snarky asshole. They’re all people who get shit done. That appeals to readers who like the concept of get shit done.

Second, from a purely nuts and bolts writing perspective, if what Hines is saying is true (which thankfully it isn’t) then if you actually want to make lots of money, you would write your books with whatever demographic it appeals to, which would mean even less diversity in characters (which they supposedly want) or if you wanted to write about transgender people, you’d be limiting yourself to one tiny market.

Luckily, Jim is full of shit, so we can basically write about whatever type of character we want to, and if it is entertaining enough, we can sell that story. If what Jim said was true, then who would read about Miles Vorksogian? What’s wrong with all those white males who love Honor Harrington? Could it be that character is far more important than checking a box on an EEOC form? Unpossible.

Maybe if we want to write enjoyable stories, we should try looking beyond the same old default that’s been done again and again throughout the history of the genre.

You know what they call something that has been done again and again and again? A trope. Do you know why tropes show up so often that there is a hilarious webpage that chronicles how many times different tropes show up in different things? Because tropes WORK. If they didn’t work, writers wouldn’t keep using them.

In fact, I then very carefully explained that there is nothing wrong with using diverse or oddball or unique characters, cited some of the grandmasters of sci-fi who pulled it off, and then pointed out that when it was pulled off, it was because they were story first, message WAY later.

Yep. Putting message before story will tend to bore your reader.

No shit.

Now, if the only way you can imagine including a “non-default” character in your story is to make it a Message Story, then guess what — you’re probably a shitty writer. You can have gay characters in a story without making it a Gay Story. Austistic characters without having to write an Autism Story. Black characters without having to write a Race Story.

So what the fuck is his problem? Oh, wait. I’m not a fucking cheerleader for stupid shit that tends to produce bad writing.

It’s a pretty big world out there. Why are we so scared to write about more than a limited, narrow piece of it?

Duh. We’re not. Only those of us who are actually making a living at this are going to write whatever character we find the most compelling for that situation, rather than suck up the special interest group of the week.

I then pointed out that transgender types are a tiny group within the human population.

Oh, yay. We’re back to quotas and checklists.

Because if somebody insists we cram them into every story, that isn’t realistic or truthful to what humans are.

Ignoring the uncited and inaccurate statistics here, let’s flip this around.

What? I said that about 1 in every 50,000 people have a sex change. That was based on a couple seconds of cursory Google searching, and the best answer I could find was some wild ass guesses, and since I threw this together between breakfast and leaving for the movie theater, I’m sorry I didn’t cite it like a fucking college paper, professor.

As for my only other stat, if you’d read those comments that you warned people away from, somebody brought up the extremely rare Klinefelter Syndrome and its 47th chromosome, and I even had a roommate with that so I’m pretty damn familiar with it. But only a small percentage of men with the extra chromosome show any symptoms, but if it makes you feel better you can pull of one of those .99s.

How many musclebound manly white men do I have to write about in my stories in order to convince people like Correia that it’s not a secret subversive left-wing liberal Message?

Interesting. Where in everything that I wrote did I ever say you need to write “musclebound manly white men” or imply anything even sort of similar to that? In all of my fiction, and all of my main PoV characters, I’ve got only one character that fits that description. But Jake Sullivan would still think you are a subversive left-wing pussy, but he thought the same thing about FDR. 🙂

How many big-busted blonde women need to throw themselves on my hero’s penis to satisfy his insecurities that non-white, non-male people might start to have an actual voice?

Again with the wildly incorrect guesses about what I write, with some really strange race baiting going on as well. Do you think it would upset Jim to know that I’m legally considered a Latino, and I grew up in a poor immigrant community? Probably not, because any diversity that thinks liberals are full of shit is the wrong kind of diversity.

But let’s humor Jim and think that bit of nonsense through. An author writes a manly white male protagonist who has sex with beautiful busty women. Yes. I too appreciate Captain Kirk. But wait… if readers choose to purchase this book, how does that harm some other author who wants to write about Hir Schmister Captain Fluffy Von Rainbow Tear and the Starship ElfSparkle? You see, writing isn’t a pie. If somebody else gets a bigger piece of the pie, that doesn’t suddenly make your piece of the pie smaller. (libs also struggle with concept when it comes to wealth) When you produce a product you take it to the market. If your product is appealing, then people will purchase it. The more people it appeals to, the more people who will give you money. If somebody else produces product also, and people buy that product instead because they like it better, that’s their choice. You can demand that this other author no longer write about Kirk, and instead write about Captain Von Sparkle Tear, but why the fuck would they listen to you? They’ve got pie.

 I said that someone will bring up that gay people make up 1-4% of the population, but that’s irrelevant, because most of them still identify themselves as the sex they were born with.

Right, so you’re throwing bad statistics out about a made-up argument that you acknowledge MacFarlane didn’t even bring up.

First. Not a bad stat. http://www.gallup.com/poll/6961/what-percentage-population-gay.aspx That’s from Gallup. Second, I talked about lots of stuff the original article didn’t bring up, because this is my blog and I’ll talk about whatever I feel like, and I’ve had this particular argument with the literati twaddle-peddlers before, so forgive me if it bleeds over into the next one.

I think you’re wrong, because kitties are cuter than puppies.

Wrong. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzGKlOkQsxY

Which has nothing to do with anything Correia actually said, but that seems to be how we’re playing the game now.

Says the man bringing up big breasted white women throwing themselves on penises…

Language

Fragment? I think he started to type something and then got distracted.

In talking to readers, I find that most of them assume SF/F books will portray worlds dominated by straight white folks. Not exclusively, mind you, but the representation in our genre is most certainly not that close to the world we currently live in.

Wait… So now you’re saying that statistics and quotas should match the world we live in? I thought that was bad before when I pointed out transgender people are a tiny minority and if they showed up in books as often as they show up in real life, we’d never see them at all?

Meanwhile, all the hatey-hate mongers like Mike Williamson, John Ringo, and Sarah Hoyt are pushing all sorts of odd human boundaries in their sci-fi. Maybe those Typical WorldCon Voters you’re talking to should actually read stuff from the people they’re supposed to hate?

I talked about how if you change up a character, it should only be done for a good reason.

I agree. When you make a choice about character, you should have a reason for that choice.

Again. He agrees all my nuts and bolts writing advice is correct, but I’m bad, because of diversity or tolerance or whatever the buzzword of the day is.

Making a character male or female is a choice. Making a character white is a choice. Making a character straight is a choice. But it’s a choice often made because these are the default, and the writer is lazy.

Uh huh… Hear that writers? If your character is white or straight, or you didn’t make the choices that the super tolerant Jim C. Hines made, that’s just because you’re lazy… and totally not because that was the best fit for that particular character.

I talked about how check box diversity for check box diversity’s sake is tiresome and compared it to a little kid trying to blow your mind with how tall his Lego tower is for the 50th time.

I’m not sure what sci-fi he’s referring to, and I’m a little skeptical about how much of it he’s actually read, given his arguments.

Remember earlier, when I was making fun of gender studies majors? The difference between me and Jim is that when I insult somebody, I’m not a big pussy about it. I think he’s trying to imply that I’m not well read. Not only does Jim know that I’m a white guy who writes sexy white on white action, he knows how many books I’ve read. (sure, poor kid with nothing better to do than go to the library, who then put himself through college working at a bookstore, who then taught himself how to write fiction through read other people’s books, obviously hasn’t read much) Of course, we talk about various message fic done wrong and right in the different comment threads, but he warned you not to read those, because you might be exposed to hate or something. 

But I find stories that explore a more diverse world, that present different characters and stories I haven’t read a thousand times before, to be much more interesting. There’s comfort and enjoyment in reading the same-old genre tropes and tales too, but Correia sounds a lot like he’s bashing a genre you’ve never read.

I never said you couldn’t explore a diverse world or have different types of characters, and in fact, explicitly stated repeatedly the opposite, but it is easier for Jim when the scarecrows he’s arguing with are wearing white hoods.

Also, screw you. My LEGO tower is AWESOME.

Sorry? What was that? I got so fucking bored that I fell asleep and hit my head on my desk.

And then I wrote more that pretty much goes exactly against what Jim is accusing me of.

ProTip 2: If the only reason you can think of to include characters who aren’t the default is because MESSAGE, you’re a shitty writer. You might be a popular writer, because there are certainly plenty of people who want to devour books that don’t challenge them in any way, but that doesn’t make you a good writer. That’s probably an argument best saved for another blog post, though.

Wonderful. I’d love to hear Jim’s take on what makes somebody a *real* writer. I like the disdain for popular (it was deserving of an underline!) I might not care for Twilight, but she’s a real writer. You might not like Harry Potter, but she’s a real writer. Basically, if somebody is willing to give you money for your stuff, you are an honest to goodness professional.

Note how judgmental Jim is here about what he deems to be “good”. People read books that don’t challenge them? How dare people enjoy themselves in a manner you don’t deem appropriate! Because once again, people like Jim are all about diversity as long as you agree with them.

It’s so much easier to argue with people if I deliberately misinterpret and oversimplify what they’re saying, isn’t it?

BWA HA HA HAAW HAW! Snort. 

Then I’ve got 4 paragraphs giving advice, and how writers should use whatever character best accomplishes the task, and if some particular type of person doesn’t show up, if any reader cares enough to think about it (which they won’t) they can just assume that those people exist but didn’t show up in your book.

 “Those People exist in my stories. They’re just not important enough to have speaking parts in this book. Or those other books. Or the majority of the books in our field.”

Heh… Pot. Kettle. Because of course, there aren’t any diverse or interesting types of characters in speculative fiction, a genre which includes stuff like shape shifters, and beings of pure energy, and psychic space dolphins… Yet earlier, Jim accused me of not being well read in a genre that has gender bending authors Robert Heinlein, Piers Anthony, Spider Robinson in it… Go figure.

I discovered that the original author was in her mid-twenties, and made a joke about it, because I know when I want advice about my writing career, I want if from somebody who just got out of college.

 “MacFarlane is wrong because I’m older than her!”

No. She’s wrong because her wish to end default binary gender in sci-fi is foolish. I’m sure relative inexperience helped her come to that conclusion, but then again, that doesn’t explain the Typical WorldCon Voter who feels the same way, and their average age is one hundred and four.

More straw-manning.

Heh… Jim is new to this “internets” thing.

Yay. But yes, there are in fact people who think that maybe — just maybe — we should have stories that are more than mindless fluff perpetuating the same tired stereotypes.

Good. I’ve said repeatedly that writers should write whatever they feel like. This should also work both ways though, so when a writer chooses to write something you don’t like or you don’t approve of, even if it is big breasted white women jumping on manly penises, maybe you should just let that artist express themself, rather than sneering at them for not checking the proper box on your Liberal Butt Hurt Form.

There are also people who recognize that all stories carry certain assumptions and messages and “truths.” Good Triumphs Over Evil.

I didn’t know you guys still believe in those concepts. Oh wait, you’re being ironic.

Freedom Is the Bestest Thing in the Universe.

You want to know why I sell tons of books compared to most of you statists? That actually is my standard message. 🙂

Intellectual Arrogance Will Destroy You.

Okay, that one made me giggle. One note though, disagreeing with you assholes doesn’t make somebody anti-intellectual, because that assumes you deserve the title. Intellectual my ass. Judging by all my fans I’ve visited at NASA and Rocket City recently, we’re all laughing at your humanities degree. 

If Correia thinks his own personal bullshit doesn’t shape the stories he writes, then he’s a fool.

Again, in the very post he’s flailing about trying to fisk, I clearly said we all put messages into our stories, only you need to concentrate on the story first if you want to make it as a professional, and lay off the heavy handed message fic until you’ve got the skills to pull it off.

Also, damn. Bitter, much?

BOOM! Internet Arguing Checklist FTW! #2 Disqualify That Opinion, subcategory: You Must Be Angry.

But yeah, when I watch my favorite genre shrinking, and I see fewer and fewer Americans reading because they’ve been turned off or they’re tired of being insulted or preached at by their entertainment, and I watch people like you trying to shove political correctness down new writer’s throats, it makes me biter. I’ve seen skilled and talented young writers come along and damage their careers while trying to incorporate all the liberal angst box checking into their fiction. I’ve seen the SFWA types rundown people they disagree with, or actively campaign against some writers because they fall into some category of diversity that it is okay to hate. I watch no talent hacks attack grandmasters like Mike Resnick for sinning against the proper groupthink, even when the Resnicks of the world have done more to promote sci-fi and fantasy to the masses than a hundred Scalzis or Hines or Jesmins or Haydens or whichever activist it is out there railing against the proper cause of the day, and telling our customer base how stupid, backwards, racist, and hate filled they are.

Don’t worry, I’m sure there will be another panel at WorldCon called “Why is Sci-Fi Readership Shrinking?” and then the answer will be shit like ending binary gender. 

I said something similar in the last post, about message fic being boring and turning off readers. (what would I know, I’ve just got hundreds of comments from fans who’d given up on reading for these exact reasons, before being drawn back by something they actually enjoyed).

You know what’s boring? Yet another book about manly straight white dudes doing manly straight white things.

Pause with me, gentle reader, and think about who is really the one filled with bias and hate here… Manly straight white dudes, doing manly straight white things? Like what? If Hines is bitching about popular books that people actually purchase, then I’d assume those “manly white” things would include things like having adventure, exploring new worlds, fighting for their beliefs, and having a really good story. You know, stuff readers actually like to purchase. I’m not the one saying that other races, sexes, and orientations can’t make awesome characters, he’s the one implying readers are all stupid and you just want WHITE MAN SMASH!

As much as Jim has tried to take me to task, he’s only really helped demonstrate exactly what I’ve been talking about.

You can’t preach about how boring conformity is bad for the genre, then spend 4000 words arguing with someone trying to challenge a piece of that genre conformity.

Like I said, cut and paste, but I’m assuming Jim doesn’t come from a STEM background.

And again, characters? Write whatever tells the best story. The only boring conformity I’m against is this bland politically correct leftism masquerading as intellectual thought.

Okay, obviously you can do that, but I think it’s rather silly.

Apparently I’ve got thousands of readers who disagree with you, but we’ve already established you think they’re all hateful and stupid.

I made fun of university humanities speak.

Writing should be simple and basic. “Invisible prose.” Because Conformity. Or something.

Yep. A standard liberal SFWA member is lecturing one of the handful of outspoken conservative sci-fi/fantasy writers about conformity.   

You realize that’s what El-Mohtar is saying, right? That we need to stop recognizing women writers as curiosities, noteworthy because, “Hey look, a woman wrote something good!” That we need to move past the assumption that all of the great works of literature were written by men. That we need to stop ignoring women’s accomplishments just because they’re women.

So, the guy hung up on forced diversity, angry at white people doing white things, is lecturing me, the person that doesn’t give a shit what equipment the writer has, about recognizing people’s accomplishments… But don’t worry, the brave sensitive white male champion has swooped in to explain what the female minority author REALLY meant to say. 🙂 (oh, how that irks them so).

Because nothing is going to make an author successful like copying things that were unpopular before.

MacFarlane: “I want to talk about these books and stories that don’t get a lot of attention, and expand the kind of stories we read and create.”

Correia: “Copying unpopular stuff will make you unsuccessful!”

Hines: “Huh???”

Good thing Hines is such a more eloquent communicator than the original author to clear that up.

Bored now. I hope Correia moves on to something new and interesting soon. The same old misreading and straw-manning is getting dull.

As usual, I’ll leave the relative entertainment value up to the audience to decide. 🙂 

I then got into the nitty gritty of making it as a professional author, and how that requires quality over message. I also pointed out that most of the beloved message fic stuff isn’t commercially viable. It is a good way to get praised by the popular kids at SFWA while making very little money.

I went into the report for the Guardian that revealed most published authors don’t make very much. Contrary to the image many aspiring authors have, most of us don’t make enough to live on. Most of us keep our day jobs and write on the side as a second job, or we’re supported while our spouse works. The average makes somewhere around $30k a year (if I recall correctly it was like $28K).  Only the top 1% makes over 100k.

I’ve done very well for myself. I’m financially blessed and successful. I’m well into that 1% now. Part of that is luck and being at the right place at the right time, but most of it is from hard work, being analytical about my market and how to grow my fan base, being a self-promoting machine, but most of all, trying to tell an entertaining story that will make my fans happy.

I pointed out that you could either take the advice of somebody who is making it as a professional writer, or you could take the advice of somebody who just got out of college.    

Correia makes more money than you. Therefore he’s right.

On the topic of making a living as a writer, damn right I am.

I’ll certainly grant that Larry Correia is a successful writer.

And oh how that infuriates some folks. 🙂 

Therefore you should do what he does.

Concentrate on story first, and message way down the list. Yes, yes you should.

So is Ursula LeGuin. Who wrote an amazing novel about non-binary gender that’s still popular today. Therefore you should do what she does.

Ah, but if you read the comments that you tried to warn people away from, you’d see the part where LeGuin went and spoke at a university and explained that Left Hand of Darkness wasn’t ever intended to be message fic, she put STORY FIRST, and wrote what she was interested in at the time… Which is what I’ve been saying the whole time.

Look, NOBODY IS SAYING THAT STORY ISN’T IMPORTANT, or that you shouldn’t put story first.

Except for when you insult other authors for their character choices, or call them lazy for not doing what you want them to do? Or that you need to end the norm? Or that you never want to read another book with gender norms again? But that’s totally not telling people what to do! You’re just guiding them so that we can all be diverse in the exact same way!

That bullshit may work on the new writers who don’t know any better, or the squishy headed ones forever interested in appeasing the cool kids or someday joining the cool kid’s clique, but those of us who’ve been through this grinder and who understand how to write and just want to make a living can safely tell you to go fuck yourself (in whatever post binary gender manner you choose to go fuck yourself in) then we write what we want.

What they’re saying is that there are more stories out there, and more characters, and more possibilities to explore.

Set that straw on fire!  You know a crazy possibility to explore? A future where consumers still purchase science fiction novels because leftists suck wads have failed to drive everyone away.

She said she wanted a conversation, I said just not in the blog comments…

 [Citation needed]

Oh for fuck sakes, how about reading the blog and Facebook comments you warned everyone not to read, where people have reposted their comments that were removed? Wait. I forgot. I’m talking to a leftist, where eyewitness testimony is anecdote not evidence. Now, if that testimony was quoted in Salon or Mother Jones, that’s evidence.

Yep. How dare she wish for books to more accurately reflect the diversity of the real world…

Wish in one hand… I’ve already explained that repeatedly, and if your speculative fiction did accurately reflect the real world, and it took place anywhere other than Space Berkley, you probably wouldn’t have any transgender characters anyway. Luckily, your fiction can reflect whatever reality you choose to build, so you can write whatever you want.

Characters who are not straight or white or cisgendered male or whatever Larry Correia and most of the rest of the world thinks of as the default have a reason to be included in the story. (Fortunately, white dudes like me don’t need a reason to exist. We’re the normal ones, you see. We’re supposed to be here.)

Can’t you just feel the white guilt oozing through the page? Jim Hines is extremely sorry that human beings have been mean to each other in the past, and he is genetically responsible for all of your suffering. How dare you not have a rainbow of fruit flavor in every book! You are keeping your imaginary people down!

It is okay, Jim, we Warm Beige People forgive you. (for the record, that’s what these Home Depot paint chips say I am. I’m the same color as Cheech Marin).  Though I’m pretty sure my badass conquistador ancestors would still think you’re a pussy.

Back to the nuts and bolts of writing, EVERY character needs a reason to exist. If you have a character in your story, why are they there? What purpose do they serve? That guilty white people stuff is just bullshit. If it makes sense for a character to be white, or black, or gay, or a space whale, or a leprechaun, write it. Worry about making your readers happy first, because no matter what, you’ll never make the Jim Hines and tor.com bloggers of the world happy, and you should probably still feel guilty about something. 

Here’s a reason: because people other than your narrow-minded “default” exist in the world. Because if you want to write a story that’s in any way reflective of the real world, you have to acknowledge that fact.

Sigh… Note how they’ve gone from END THE BINARY GENDER DEFAULT to the much milder acknowledge people are different. That’s all bullshit though, because as I’ve pointed out repeatedly, sci-fi has no problem acknowledging and exploring how people are different, but no matter what the activist outragers will find some new thing to get outraged about. Remember, to a liberal, being a victim gives you super powers. 

I talked about some of my characters that deviated from the norm.

“See, I wrote about a gay cross dresser, so you can’t accuse me of being homophobic!”

Correction. I’m not homophobic because I’m not particularly scared of gay people. I wrote about a badass motherfucker in a setting that is all about badass motherfuckers murdering the shit out of each other, and giving this particular supporting character this one trait made the narrative more interesting and allowed for some fun lines like “I’ve never met a transvestite I couldn’t take in a knife fight.”

Just not the ones that disagree in the blog comments.

Again, try reading the comments. Also, you seem to be accusing MacFarlane of deleting comments, when I suspect it’s the Tor.com staff who are responsible for moderating. I’m not 100% sure on that, but I suspect you’ve got your snark crossed here.

Holy shit… Yes, Jim, I really did think that the website of a massive publishing house which has its own in house moderators was having their guest blogger manage the website. If my snark is crossed, your snark sleeps in a helmet.

And back to the mockery and criticizing the author’s age rather than her ideas.

That part wasn’t even about her age. It was about the whole attitude about how sci-fi is all about dropping truth bombs and rocking the reader’s bourgeois little worlds.

#

Well that was fun. My congratulations to anyone who read this far.

Why? Do you normally have a problem with readers finishing your writing? I don’t have that problem.

As a reminder, I do moderate comments here, because I’m a freedom-hating commie because I don’t have time or interest in trolls, name-calling, threats, etc.

Meanwhile, over on the right wing hatey hate monger’s various feeds, we leave up pretty much everything because we actually believe in free speech.

You’re welcome to comment, but as Wil Wheaton says, don’t be a dick.

And since Will Wheaton is a hypocrite that doesn’t seem to mind being a dick to Republicans, the Tea Party, the NRA, or anybody who makes up the half of the country who agrees with those groups, I wouldn’t put too much faith in that. But maybe that’s just because I fondly remember how Will Wheaton likes to blame the people most likely to prevent mass shootings for all the mass shootings.

So anyways, my whole point is don’t pay attention to the cause of the day types urging you to cram Special Topic X into your book. Even if you do, they’ll find something new to be outraged about tomorrow. Write whatever you want to write.  Have fun. Get paid.

 

EDIT: Just check Facebook and Twitter. So it turns out in typical statist fashion that the proper goodthinkers are petitioning my publishing house, Baen Books, that they need to distance themselves from their awful authors like me, Williamson, Ringo, and Kratman (as in a bunch of their bestselling authors) before we tarnish Baen’s image. So… threats of boycott against a publishing house they already don’t like, to not purchase books by authors they already hate… Yep. That’s the free speech I know and love from the lefties. Thanks, Concern Trolls!

Some excellent articles on the recent gender nonsense
Sequel to a Book Bomb is out today
Ed Bear
Guest

‘Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.’ – George Carlin

Also, please don’t waste valuable writing time on the argument. Where’s another Grimnoir book? What sort of shape is MHI Nemisis in? More stories, please?

P.S. I’ve read one of Hines’ books. On a scale of 1-10 it came out at about a 4, which is not much above “readable, but nothing special.”

Andrew
Guest

I used to think the same way, Ed Bear. However, I’ve observed that if you don’t call idiots idiots, people believe them.

Book
Guest
Have to agree with you, Andrew. It’s not like this was particularly hard for Correia, or even took up much time. Personally, I found it highly entertaining. Entertainment value aside: Here’s the most important thing: Liberals, Democrats, Progressives, whatever they prefer to be called in their label-sensitive world, they thrive only because good people ignore them when they say asinine things. Sure, Hines comments were nonsensical, and probably beneath LC. But Correia wasn’t writing for Hine’s benefit. That was for us. And it was AWESOME. Side Note: I work in an industry that censors Improper Groupthink mercilessly. If I came… Read more »
Draven
Guest

I made the mistake of making a few comments here and there under my real name to blow off steam during college and wonder if that ‘outed’ me as ‘against the groupthink’ in my own industry…

Book
Guest

I should add that this post really doesn’t have much at all to do with politics. If we were going to sum up- it’s mainly about how Message-Fic is boring and people should focus on Story-Fic.

That’s it.

I know Hines got all pissy and tried to make it about race (?!) and gendernormative fascism. But he’s a lefty idiot who is obsessed with race and genders and lots of other label-du-jour, which is why I found LC’s take-down so amusing.

LepusKhan
Guest

“Sure, Hines comments were nonsensical, and probably beneath LC. But Correia wasn’t writing for Hine’s benefit. That was for us. And it was AWESOME.”
This right here. So much, this. That’s the part so many of them don’t get…

Alexander Omega
Guest

Just realized something: Hines’ least un-well-known book is actually a postmodern hodgepodge of (literal) borrowing from other works. And he says “we should try looking beyond the same old default that’s been done again and again”?!?!?

Peter Larson
Guest

Hah, that actually flew right over my head. Good catch! I was intrigued by the concept of Libriomancer, so I read it. It was more or less capably written, but I didn’t enjoy it, particularly because he so amateurishly shoved a 3-way relationship into the story as a plot mechanism. Because bisexuality and polyamory is a plot device apparently.

Susan
Guest

I have that one on the bookshelf because the premise seemed intriguing…but I realized that I already tried to read it and when I got to the 3 way relationship that really had nothing to do with the plot….I took it back to the library.

GuedeNimbo
Guest
I’ve been in a poly-ship myself. I don’t see how it would make for a good sci-fi plot device. Unless one of the persons in the ship were secretly the villain, or there was a whole combining DNA in a unique way. Other than being “novel” to, voyeures, people who haven’t been in one, or those who like diversity for diversities sake, polyamourous relationships are just like normal ships. It’s not much to hang a story hat on, unless it’s somehow relevant, the same goes for most ships though. They are background fodder, they don’t alter the foreground much. Unless… Read more »
Joel Salomon
Guest

In the context of Libriomancer, it works. The character in question was drawn from a book and molds every aspect of her personality to her lover’s desires. By engaging in simultaneous relationships with two very different people, she preserves some measure of free will.

Eben
Guest

Unlike Hine’s post, I actually managed to remain interested in this response.

MojoRonin
Guest

Can’t wait for Hines’ next installment; Fisk 4: The Diversity Must Be Uniform

Book
Guest

HA! I could see that on a tee shirt at an occupy rally. 😀

Rick
Guest

Just one request, since I’m not a huge technophile, I have no idea where to find these facebook places asking Baen to distance themselves. Please, oh for the luvva god please, point them out to me. I begs ya.

Susan
Guest

Please do ’cause I can’t find it either…and while I am not a masterfisker like Larry…I can do my share.

larry13767
Guest

bravo, most enjoyable to read. Based on their request for a boycott I suggest a BUYcott for all Baen products

Ed Bear
Guest

I can’t help much. I’ve already been buying everything since Webscriptions got started.

Robert Wilson
Guest
I don’t really care about the argument because it isn’t applicable to most readers. Good fiction, particularly today with the advent of self and e publishing, will find a way to readers. Bad fiction, be it bogged down by heavy handed messages or not, usually won’t. With that out of the way, attack Hines for his position but it is sophomoric to attack him for his work, at least in terms of its quality and market penetration – something Hines is seemingly guilty of in his response to Larry, true. Hines is a successful writer, not 1% successful or at… Read more »
SirBrass
Guest

I wonder if Baen will give the goodthink groupthinkers a hearty “f-you!” or if they’ll just ignore them.

M. Kupari
Guest

Aw. Man, I need to hurry up and finish this space opera. I want a boycott too! Obviously I don’t rate that level of hate just yet. I can’t help but see it as a promotional gold mine.

Oh, and, like, my main character is a lesbian. I’m sure that will outrage them somehow, because how dare I?

madsci73915
Guest

Dang it, Mike, are you taking my idea for lesbian AIs…darn…that was two years down the drain

Henry
Guest
madsci, I hate to break it to you but I wrote about a lesbian AI in a backup story to a superhero comic I was writing back in the mid ’80s. Here’s a citation: http://www.atomicavenue.com/atomic/titledetail.aspx?TitleID=19219 Meanwhile, my first science fiction novel is due out in March and it’s wall-to-wall binary gender characters. Actually, just by reading the novel, you can’t tell the sexual preferences of most of the characters because it’s not relevant to the story. It’s a good old fashioned planetary romance, complete with a princess in need of rescuing and a brave hero willing to come to the… Read more »
Patrick
Guest

I am boycotting anything else previously published by Mike Kupari because I am outrageously outraged at his outrageous use of imagination to write something other than what he is. Also, I hate buying a book twice. BUT the boycott is in effect. Unless I decide to buy Dead Six for a friend. But then, the boycott is definitely probably going to happen.

M. Kupari
Guest

Yaaay! I’m being boycotted! I’m a controversial figure now! ^_^

Book
Guest

I have the paper copy of Dead Six. About to buy the audio when it comes out. But after that, I SHALL JOIN YOU IN THIS BOYCOTT, BROTHER.

Expendable Henchman
Guest

I’m continually boycotting Mike Kupari. I only buy his books when they come out, and never twice unless a friend borrows it. (Baen books never seem to make it back home…)

CombatMissionary
Guest
I’d be interested to read it, because… You know the term “magic negro?” I think Spike Lee invented it. It’s when the uptight White main character needs help to solve a problem, and a Black character shows up with a liberal application of soul food or some other Black stereotype and via their Blackness is able to solve the problem of the uptight White main character, and it’s so overdone that it becomes a trope. So after recently watching a favorite TV show recently and they had the obligatory “being gay is wonderful” episode. I told my wife, “This is… Read more »
Calvin Gordon Dodge
Guest

If anyone takes offense at the term “magic homo”, you could always use “sassy gay friend” instead.

00zau
Guest

Are you me? I’ve been kicking around an idea for some kind of space-opera-like thing with a lesbian MC for a while. Not that I can actually write yet (practicing with some silly fan fiction right now). I kinda want to do so even more now just so I can be in the same boat as guys like LC and John Ringo and piss off the SJW’s.

Couldnt B. Righter (@CouldntBRighter)
Guest

What’s shocking to me is not this discussion, but the sheer number of words Larry can write in a day! It’s astonishing!

Michael Z. Williamson
Guest
A certain author said: “My way of dealing with spec fic’s racial lopsidedness (on the writing side, at least) is somewhat passive-aggressive: I avoid making any sort of overt racial identifiers at all with my characters unless it’s required by the plot, which for my books it generally isn’t. This is not the same as actively specifying minority characters in my books, which is a point no doubt many will be happy to make, and they’re right. But it’s not excluding them, either, which is not trivial.” According to the source post, that is in fact trivial. In fact, Steven… Read more »
Paul
Guest

Many years ago I read something to the effect that characters written without overt racial identifiers were easier for a diverse audience to identify with. The author who wrote that opinion was R. A. Heinlein, who sold a few books, and knew a little bit about science fiction, too.

Michael Z. Williamson
Guest

In some cases (I Will Fear No Evil) the character is vague, but is intentionally designed to invoke perceptions of more than one race. In Starship Troopers, we get told at the end the character is Filipino. And there are hints throughout. So he wasn’t ignoring the issue. He was presenting it carefully.

Sean
Guest

maybe we should petition to have one of the new gee whiz bang “stealthy” subs after him. then if it ever fires a shot in anger the casing on the missile or torpedo can read “you’ve just been Heinlen’d. have a nice day” 😛

Sean
Guest

Oh new thought. Hey Mike> Maybe Elke can emblaze Heinleins name across a planets surface with nukes? Alright fine I admit I just wanna see Elke play with nukes again. or maybe a massive orbital laser which she could write across the surface of a planet with.

Steve Weinberg
Guest

Yet we must also remember that RAH wrote in another time. So if one reads THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS closely it’s pretty clear that Mannie would be considered “black” on Earth today (and in the novel), it is kept subtle enough not to scare the muggles of the time.

Rob Crawford
Guest

Let’s see… Heinlein did that, as well. And Joel Rosenberg.

Wayne Blackburn
Guest

I think Heinlein rather purposely did it, either waiting until nearly the end of the book to drop the fact of the character’s ethnicity, or else throwing in just enough clues that, if you went back and looked, you could figure it out for certain, but if you didn’t pay close attention, it was not obvious.

Jennifer Thompson
Guest
Love the whole thing, but my favorite part had to be about how hard it is to find characters you can identify with unless you’re a straight white male, and how resoundingly untrue it is. I began tearing through Baen’s catalog precisely because I found characters I could identify with and story I liked. I’m pretty sure there’s a word for people who identify with others solely based on skin-color, sexuality, gender, or anything other than their ideas and I’m also pretty sure I don’t want to associate with them, or read books targeting them as an audience. It never… Read more »
Andrew
Guest

I get around in a wheelchair and have very little in common physically with SF/F and Thriller characters. However, if I were to find myself in a similar situation, after my boss wolfed out, midst the giblets formerly known as me, I’d like the MCB to find a .45 with the slide locked back. So, there is a commonality between us. It’s just a bit deeper than the flesh.

Expendable Henchman
Guest

Andrew, I’m totally stealing that idea the first chance I get. In honor of you, I’ll name the poor redshirt Andrew.

Andrew
Guest

Enjoy!

madsci73915
Guest

To go with what Alexander said, I believe the book(s) that he is referring to are his “princess” series, which to be fair I have read and to another commenters point . A lot of travel and ebooks do that to you. But basically all he did with those was take fairy tales, force the princesses into the “male role” of secret agents and make like half of the characters gay, and then show how dumb the “white male was” ie Cinderella’s husband, by having him never really to my memory figure out what she did all day…

Alexander Omega
Guest

Actually, Libromancer. Though the Princess novels work as well.

If you want to do postmodern reworking of existing works, fine. But it’s the depth of hypocrisy to complain that others need to be original.

Stoutcat
Guest

OMG! He used a part of my comment as an example of Hatey McHaterson commenters! Because it was mean. But funny. At least this dude is a better writer than the chick who wants to end binary gender-whatever. This just made my day!

Calvin Gordon Dodge
Guest
“But you know, readers also tend to enjoy stories where they can find characters like themselves. ” – Jim Hines So some part of me must be female, given the way I enjoy the Honor Harrington series. I must also have that “one drop of blood”, given my enjoyment of Foster’s “Journeys of the Catechist” series, as well as “Maori”. I prefer characters that I LIKE, regardless of color/sex/affiliation. For example, I never cared for “Shakespeare In Love” because I found the title character to be a jerk. Yet – strangely – he was a straight white dude. That preference… Read more »
Rod
Guest

Ah, well … now to dig up the source of “Call me cismale” for proper attribution – I want to put it on a T-shirt to wear at the next con I attend.

Wasn’t that In “Moby Cismale Gendernormative Fascist” by Melville? first line in the book?

Wayne Blackburn
Guest

I think the title was actually, ““Moby Cismale Gendernormative Genitalia”…

🙂

lonejanitor
Guest

“Moby Post-Binary Genitalia” by Melville. Don’t be racist. Or whatever -ist that would be.

lonejanitor
Guest

Binarist, that would be it.

Rod
Guest

I want to find the Tweets and other material about the attack on Baen to get rid of you naughty boys.

Rhiain
Guest

It was on Twitter, and Jim Hines acknowledged that it would be a foolish move since authors like Ringo, Correia and Williamson make them mucho moulah.

https://twitter.com/Loerwyn/status/428605584553025536

Rhiain
Guest

Sorry, you can follow the rest of the Twitter conversation there, blahblahblah. It’s a dumb suggestion. If every publisher tried to police their authors like that, they’d never make any money. Kind of the point of publishing these authors in the first place, y’know?

Rob Crawford
Guest

Except that the publishers DO police the politics of the authors.

And that’s part of why publishing is in trouble…

Rhiain
Guest

Which ones?

Rhiain
Guest

Okay, disregard…that was likely a dumb question, but I don’t pay as much attention to the publishing industry as I ought to. I just know which publishers I like.

Sean
Guest

holy crap! the fail and stupid is epically strong with that one.

Nathan
Guest

Why are they saying this about Baen and its authors and not, say, Tor and it’s website?

Oh, yes. Double-standard.

There’s a phrase about a beam and an speck of sawdust that comes to mind…

Alan
Guest
As much as I love to see you destroy the mediocre minds of the world, I gotta say that such people should be beneath your notice. Take satisfaction in the fact that you’ve already won, Larry. Binary gender is not going to end, in literature or in life, through all the remaining generations of time. Furthermore, inexperienced authors are not going to be fooled by MacFarlane’s article (those few who even read it or heard about it) so you do not need to protect them, either. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I think you should keep fisking idiots whenever they… Read more »
dgarsys
Guest
Heh. Yeah – Hines basically showed a textbook example of “arguing past the statement” both in what YOU said, Larry, and in what he was purportedly defending. The latter especially, for so consistently misunderstanding it. Side note on bringing up Mike Resnick – his daughter decided to weigh in positively on Jim’s screed. As to Hines’ writing. Read and sort of enjoyed the Goblin books (plural. I liked the first one enough to buy the next two). The “what are dungeons like from the perspective of the monsters” schtick got old in a manner entirely consistent with his level of… Read more »
Susan
Guest

I read them also and enjoyed them. Like you, I am going to stay a long ways away from the princess series.

Gerry Martin
Guest
What pisses me off most about Hines’ post is that he assumes that you are not respectful to those who argue with you! Like I told you at LibertyCon, you are one of the most respectful people to debate/argue with because of how respectful you are. Until someone crosses the lines set for proper arguing that is. Then all fun…err…hell breaks loose and rightfully so! I actually got to meet Mr. Hines at MarsCon last week and he was a nice enough guy in person. He seemed very anxious/nervous so I would be interested to see how this would have… Read more »
Grit
Guest
so basically, whenever a woman gets raped it was her fault because she didn’t shoot or shoot quick enough? I don’t think I can follow that logic. Rape should be prevented, and not happen in the first place. Rape isn’t always done by a stranger lurking in the dark who grabs the first woman that comes along. Rape is done by spouses, family members, at parties where someone’s gotten so drunk they weren’t even able to give consent. As for stories that are enjoyable: I read whatever peaks my interest (scifi mostly, but also some fantasy). I don’t mind them… Read more »
Grit
Guest

I don’t want to argue gun control and all that stuff. It’s nothing that concerns me because I live in a country where the majority of private people don’t have guns.

as for my second paragraph: you aren’t making it very clear what you think about stories with messages because this post, just like your previous one, sounds a lot like all message stories are bad stories because they are about the message and not the story. If I got that wrong, I apologize, but I don’t understand then what your problem with MacFarlane’s or Hines’ post is.

thewriterinblack
Guest

First rule of holes: when in a hole, stop digging. Your “you aren’t making very clear” falls very flat when his explicit words are that you could include “message” so long as “story comes first.”

This was pointed out to you and reiterated.

At this point, “the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars…”

Sailorcurt
Guest
“Rape should be prevented, and not happen in the first place.” Good call. I agree completely. A lot of bad things should not happen in the first place. But, back in the real world, what about when those bad things DO happen? Oh…right…report it to police and let them deal with it if they have time…because that will make you all “un-raped” or “un-dead” or something. Personally, I believe that the best way to remain un-raped or un-dead is to be prepared, trained, and determined to defend yourself when the utopian solution falls short. Here’s a thought for you: A… Read more »
trackback

[…] blog to see if he corrected himself, and he did… kinda? In that somewhere in the word salad of this long response to Jim he corrects himself on Alex being “she,” airily dismisses it as a mistake and says he […]

Linoge
Guest

Having had the… pleasure… of personally being on the receiving end of Wil Wheaton not “being a dick”, I have to say that Mr. Hines sets the bar pretty damned low for his comment section.

Ryan Williamson
Guest

Every time someone invokes “Wheaton’s Law” I can’t help but laugh in their face. What a maroon.

A.C. Haskins
Guest

My favorite part was where he berated you for assuming Alex was a guy without double-checking, and then proceeded to continuously assume you were white for the entirety of his response.

perlhaqr
Guest

Wow. Jim C. Hines, mule for rent.

Robert Boyer
Guest

Mule for rent, indeed. I hate to brag, but my retirement pension is already more than his best year. The amount of guilt this causes me? Zip.

johnathanknight
Guest

Bravo. This was an amazing, beautiful fisk. You covered some golden points. Thanks for not sitting back and taking their crap.

You know, I was already a fan of your writing, but this has pushed me into the fan-for-life category.

Eric
Guest

But you know, readers also tend to enjoy stories where they can find characters like themselves. Which is easy if you’re a straight white dude, and gets progressively more difficult the further you stray from that default.

Well, assuming that’s true (and I do), doesn’t that hole the original Tor article at the waterline? Are there really enough tranny SF readers out there you can make a career writing about them?

Radical Suburbanite
Guest

Is Hines actually trying to imply that his writing is more than “mindless fluff?” I have read his work and, while it is entertaining enough for what it is, it’s *all* fluff. It appears that all you have to do to make Hines and his crew happy are to throw in a few characters with questionable sexuality (or sex identification, or something..) and you get to escape the “fluff” label.

Jared Anders
Guest
This is one of those moments where I am actively confused by the power of human beings to ignore what is right in front of them. I mean, he basically agreed with everything you were saying, but because it was coming from a ‘white (heh) conservative cismale’ you had to be wrong. I especially couldn’t get how he could be berating the response for saying that you were saying the only way to include characters that aren’t white straight male heroes and white straight female love interests was to do a ‘message story.’ What the flying frak? How do you… Read more »
Patrick Chester
Guest

What the flying frak? How do you get the exact opposite meaning out of what was written? It wasn’t even in literary densespeak.

Simple: They lie.

Like that Grit character above.

trackback

[…] A couple of days ago, in Ending Binary Gender in Fiction, or How to Murder Your Writing Career, Correia fisked a blog post that appeared on Tor’s website somewhere. (I looked at the original post, but to be honest, Correia’s fisk was a lot easier to understand.) Some dude named Jim Hines (no idea who he is, nor do I care) took the time to fisk Correia’s fisk, so Correia responded by fisking the fisked fisk in Does my Cismale Hate Mongery Know No Bounds?! Responding to Jim Hines. […]

DaveP.
Guest

Shorter Hines:
“How dare this peon have a different opinion than I!”

Martin L. Shoemaker
Guest

Damn you, Larry! Just last night I promised myself: no more book buying until I cut my stack down. Now you went and became the target of a boycott, so I have to buy more of your books.

You’re a marketing devil, that’s what you are…

Sean
Guest

Yeah but don’t you have all of them already? If so it kinda means you have to gift the new copies to someone and bring them to the dark side. 🙂

scrapperinla
Guest

Wholey crap! I am twice your average reader demographic, the wrong sex, AND the wrong flavor? And I bought the first three monster Hunter books three times….

John Anderson
Guest

Dogs vs. cats – a video comparison of character.

Pirate Bob
Guest

Forgive the inside-baseball reference here, but it turns out Rabbit was mistaken about your middle initial. The “F” in Larry F Correia is obviously “Fiskmeister.” Now hurry up and turn Nemesis over to Reader-Force-Alpha.

M. Kupari
Guest

Whoa whoa whoa. *I* am the one who coined “Larry Friggin’ Correia”. That David Spade lookalike is clearly trying to steal my achievements. LAWL.

LepusKhan
Guest

awww look! Bender gets indignant just like a real boy! 😛
Actually Bob, he’s right- I was just the one who said he needed to start signing his name “NYTBSA Larry Friggin Corriea.” The original Meme did in fact originate with Mike… ;D

Kresh
Guest

Oddly enough, about two months ago I was having a conversation with a co-worker about political things. He intended to “end” the conversation by stating; “…and as Wil Wheaton says, don’t be a dick.”

I looked him straight in the eye and said “Wil Wheaton is one of the biggest dicks on the internet.”

He didn’t stop laughing for about five minutes. Which only cemented the opinion for the rest of the office that the accounting department was a bunch of complete wackjobs. Which was correct, of course, but not quite in the way they thought.

Dicentra spectabilis (@dicentra33)
Guest

Well, yeah.

The saying now goes, “Don’t be a dick; that’s Wil Wheaton’s job.”

Much like “Don’t Be Evil” is Go::SKYNETNOW::ogle’s motto.

paulb
Guest
When Jim C. Heinz57 and Alex MacHyphenated Last Name write compelling fiction about lefthanded dodecasexual progeria victims in space, I’ll check it out if someone I like gives it a good review. Until that day, when someone I’ve never heard of, who has never been recommended to me by someone I actually HAVE heard of, they’re going to have to sink or swim based on the merits of their work. But, since there’s absolutely no chance that their work would include cover art featuring an attractive woman or a large-bore weapon, I suspect that the only way I’ll ever come… Read more »
thewriterinblack
Guest
he’s the one implying readers are all stupid and you just want WHITE MAN SMASH! In a couple of my first stories my CEO of the biggest corporation in the Solar System was handicapped–mild handicap but still a handicap (traumatic injury to the knee when young, long before the “then I took an arrow to the knee meme”, long before “meme” was a “thing” in fact. He lives his entire life in low G to avoid that. His “go to” guy when he wants an engineering problem solved now is a black man. In one of those stories I had… Read more »
M. Kupari
Guest

Space Boots. Toni is the editor of Baen. She wears Space Boots, and like Dr. Evil, she’s surely shaking in them even as I type this.

See, that’s what’s even funnier about this. Larry’s own editor and writing boss is a businesswoman. Clearly this secretly offends Larry’s intrinsic chauvinism. Or Calvinism. Or whatever it is. I don’t really follow the “isms” all that much.

Joe in PNG
Guest

Aren’t Mormons more Arminian than Calvinist?

M. Kupari
Guest

Larry’s Portuguese, not Armenian.

Joe in PNG
Guest

Correia does kind of look like Kardashian, if you squint hard enough.

Rhiain
Guest

Joe, bite thy tongue!

Joe in PNG
Guest

Sorry! No hit! No hit!

Joe in PNG
Guest

Maybe Larry needs to draw a cartoon to illustrate the difference between “awesome story” and “The Preachy Adventures of Captain Token and the Minoriteam (heart!)”?

Alexander Omega
Guest

Hines was the one who complained about scantily-clad warrior woman types being on covers, right?

Someone please tell me the background on his Twitter account is meant to be ironic because of that. Please? I don’t want to believe there would be someone that nakedly hypocritical if that wasn’t the case…

dgarsys
Guest

Yes. One and the same (with Scalzi). So much so he posed as several of the covers, cross-dressing to complete the effect.

I could generally care less, but the point he seemed to have overlooked in his protests was – I apologize for being repetitive here – that the covers he was spoofing were books written by women, primarily marketed to same. Not something about conan with a boris vallejo print.

Luke
Guest

I never did understand his complaint about covers and comic books objectifying women.
Romance is much less of a niche market, and it objectifies men at least as much. (At least the hawt elven chick or the spandex-clad superheroine don’t have their faces cropped off!)

thewriterinblack
Guest

Romance is much less of a niche market, and it objectifies men at least as much.

Men? Romance covers objectify women as much, if not more, as SF/F.

Marissa
Guest

Women love being objectified–why do you think they love those romance novels with the big, bad, muscle-bound, uber-rich alpha male and their near-rape fantasies so much? Why do you think Twilight and 50 Shades of Twilight sell like to hotcakes to women of all ages? Women are freaks, but somehow, men still love them. Thanks, guys. (You guys are freaks too.)

saintonge235
Guest

I went to Amazon and looked at the covers of his books. Of those with humans on the cover, one book with one Asian male, one book with one white and blond male, two books with one white female, four books with three females on the cover, at least two white in each case (couldn’t expand the cover to see details on those). Absolutely nothing to suggest non-cisgendered protagonists on any of them.

Obviously he’s a bigot, and his publisher is owned by KKK members.

Sean
Guest
Jesus Jumpin H, Larry! That took forever, even SKIPPING what you cut and pasted of Jim Hines stuff. That being said…one of the things that confuses me about Jim. He’s White! He has a wife and two kids according to his bio. So he’s apparently Het. So why does he hate straight white manly men and womenly women so much? I’m confused. Is he maybe actually gay and feels he is unable to come out of the closet after being married and having kids and so…taking out his impotent inwardly directed raging about his lack of willpower out on the… Read more »
Dicentra spectabilis (@dicentra33)
Guest

“He’s White! He has a wife and two kids”

But he wears a hair shirt and flagellates in public, so he’s better than you.

C.S. Gilmore
Guest
So a few points here. One, this Hines guy sounds like he is writing a paper for a college composition one class, take citations and then twist them from their original state to somehow fit into whatever argument you are making for your assingment. Also my grade point average currently is 3.81 so in your face Hines for trying to make me look like I haven’t got any intelligence. So much fun to read these things, maybe Hines should try writing an argument in less than a 1000 words so that he can keep things straight. I do admit that… Read more »
C.S. Gilmore
Guest

By the way does this site have an edit feature cause I haven’t noticed one and I realized I forgot to number the rest of my points, not that it really matters.

LepusKhan
Guest

There is no edit function (I believe primarily because Larry doesn’t want people in his cross hairs going back and editing what they’ve said) 😀

C.S. Gilmore
Guest

Okay makes sense to me.

Michael Z. Williamson
Guest

It was nice of Jim, when he used my quote about my characters, to keep my name off it, so I won’t be shamed by public association with Larry.

I’m assuming that was the intent. Otherwise, it was to avoid admitting that a reasonably well known non-liberal author uses more minority characters than most of the liberal authors, thus diluting his argument and giving me free publicity.

He’d never be that shallow.

NateM
Guest

*sits back and puts feet up* You know, I think I could like it here….

KAries
Guest

My main characters in my WIP are: male robot, human woman w/ robotic arms, alien that looks kinda like an Indian demon that’s vaguely dog shaped, middle eastern air-ship captain who happens to be a woman. The story starts in an alternate Victorian England.

And they’re that way because it makes a damn good story. Who the fuck cares about anything else?

maniakmedic
Guest
Well, I have to say that I was completely unaware that when I read all four MHI books and then promptly began salivating at the thought of a fifth, I was really just incredibly insulted and in a feminist rage over Owen and Earl taking center stage. Thanks for pointing that out, Jim. Clearly I’m dying for fiction headed by a tall, skinny female character with brown hair in a pixie cut who plays video games, owns more guns than her father, and prefers lifting real weights to build strength as opposed to tiny weights just for tone. I’ve never… Read more »
Draven
Guest

Don’t be surprised if Larry writes you in somewhere … lol

maniakmedic
Guest

In all seriousness, if that ever happened, I’d probably emit a fangirl squee that had Beethoven writhing in agony in his grave.

dyingearth
Guest

Hum… Other than glasses and knives, Larry have already wrote you in his MHI novel. Julie. Albeit, she cannot quit compete with some of her ancestors who’ve been collecting guns far longer than she’s been alive.

Sean
Guest

Wow. I think I’m in love

Marc Reeve (@McpMarc)
Guest

Well, let’s see, I just finished a book in which there’s a six-foot-tall thirteen-year-old girl who has lots o’ guns (though probably not more than her father, although she’s catching up) and lots o’ knives (including a kukri, yes). Pro-military, yes. Pro-capitalism, yes. Lifts weights? Sometimes. Pro-life? yes. Video games, not so much. Also not a brown-pixie-cut Mormon from Utah (she’s Australian). And she’s one of the primary POV characters.

It’s not by Larry, though, it’s John Ringo.
Under a Graveyard Sky and To Sail a Darkling Sea.

Steven
Guest
Alright, so I admit it… the argument itself was pretty fun to read, at least your side of it. Getting past that though, there really is some good advice there. Concentrate on the story, not trying to shove a message down the readers’ throat. It sounds, at first glance, like common knowledge… but how many people out there swear it’s about the message of your work? I like the idea of just writing the story, and if it has a message of some sort then it’s probably something in the back of my mind sneaking itself onto the pages. So… Read more »
Jared Cook
Guest

I think the only time I have cared about what sex/race/species any character was when it got in the way of the story. I think is sad that he seemed to work at ignoring that your point is in many modern Sci-fi that the message gets in the way of the story. You are right I love
Sci-Fi and enough of the modern ones I have picked up were put down unfinished for preaching to me. Add that to growing numbers that are just bad and I fear for Science Fiction in the years to come.

wmcb
Guest

The same thing that is killing SciFi is also killing the market for film. Use whatever characters/themes make for a good story, but fer the luvagawd stop preaching at people with the more-accepting-than-thou twaddle. It shows, every time.

Great fisk, Larry. And I love your cheerily homicidal farm girl.

M. Kupari
Guest

*cough* *cough* Elysium *cough*

Draven
Guest

The great irony of Elysium: the ‘hero of the little guy’ lives in a multimillion dollar condo in Malibu, and has a ten million dollar home in Beverly Hills… two communities that can be considered as much of an exclusive and separate community as Elysium was.

junior
Guest

Personally, I’m convinced that the background of Elysium (which I freely admit I haven’t seen, and am not likely to) is pretty much what will happen if the enviro-nuts ever take control. That makes the presence of its leading actor somewhat amusing, imo.

dgarsys
Guest

Never seen WHD. Olympus has fallen was pretty OK though, even if the presidents wife was a Nag who seemed to – in the handful of minutes she was onscreen – have a knee-jerk need to countermand any male about her, and the traitor was an anti-one-worlder who sold out to the commies.

M. Kupari
Guest
Just gonna leave this right here. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/369702/tinseltowns-propaganda-problem-jonah-goldberg *********** The legendary media tycoon William Randolph Hearst believed America needed a strongman and that Franklin D. Roosevelt would fit the bill. He ordered his newspapers to support FDR and the New Deal. At his direction, Hearst’s political allies rallied around Roosevelt at the Democratic convention, which some believe sealed the deal for Roosevelt’s nomination. But all that wasn’t enough. Hearst also believed the voters had to be made to see what could be gained from a president with a free hand. So he financed the film Gabriel Over the White House, starring… Read more »
Jonathan
Guest

Quite right. The perfect example.

Doge reads Sci Fi Wow
Guest
Doge reads Sci Fi Wow

Killing Sci Fi? For who? Morons who don’t like reading outside their comfort zone?

Wow.
Such Hyperbole.
Very strawman.
Much angry.
Wow.

wmcb
Guest

Wow.
Such lack of reading skills.
Very boring.
Much reflexive in-group signaling.
Wow.

Draven
Guest

Wow.
Very Meme.
Last Year.
Find New.
Wow.

Expendable Henchman
Guest

Apparently haiku is Japan’s alpha release of Twitter.

trackback

[…] Correia was more than a bit amused by this and decided to fisk the fizzle of his first fisk , complete with the observation that Hines’s followers (does that make them […]

Texasmarc
Guest
Just a middle aged, middle class white guy (you know….Silent Majority..) who reads sci-fi for fun and relaxation speaking up. I live and work in the real world where I deal with leftists, right wingers, moderates etc. every single day as a part of my profession. I’m constantly bombarded by different ideals, agendas, cultures, genders,,,yadda, yadda, yadda! And I love every minute of it! It’s a big messy, steamy pile of chaotic opportunity to earn a living and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But, it does wear a fellow out after a while. So, for fun and relaxation, I… Read more »
Bruce Burns
Guest
As a guy with a “soft” degree in English (my school cancelled the Physics major I was taking) I think you hit the ball out of the park about popular novels. Our literature profs would make a passing mention that in this decade, or those fifty years, ninety-five percent of the nation’s fiction was about X, but we never read an example of X because during those ten years some poet was super-inspired by how enlightened his view of nature had become, and that was worth reading. So, despite putting in two years of eighty to ninety hour weeks to… Read more »
rocinante2
Guest
Always late to the party. The only thing that turns me off to an artist more than message fic (or ‘message TV/movies’) is loudmouthed, tone-deaf, anvil-banging issue advocacy by artists. Even if I knew nothing else about N.K. Jemisen, the fact that she recently accused Arthur Clarke of ‘batshittery’ (for *imagining* a post-apartheid SA where whites are persecuted) is enough to keep me from ever reading anything she writes. Write all the message fic you want, girls. If it’s good, people will read it – and your ideas will be planted in the heads of some unsuspecting cismale gendernormative fascists.… Read more »
Marc Reeve (@McpMarc)
Guest

Alas, a well-meaning friend, knowing that my wife and I are fans of science fiction and fantasy, gave us a trilogy by N.K. Jemisen for Christmas. I dutifully tried to read the first book, and I didn’t even get as far into it as I got into Twilight before wanting to throw it across the room. (I actually managed 100 pages of Twilight – I wanted to know what my students were reading. Then I did my best to get them reading something else.)

trackback

[…] EDIT:  This saga continues when Social Justice Warrior and crusading sensitive white man Jim Hines swoops in to save the day: http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/5687/ […]

Greg Weatherford
Guest

I’m pretty sure Cismale Gendernormitive Lad will be the side kick of my Hero in the next Supers game I play

Holly Stockley
Guest

Well, this is the most fun I’ve had all day.

And now I have a reason to actually walk back into the SciFi section in search of one of your books. I’ve not bothered in years, because I’d gotten so very tired of the “message fiction” that has invaded the genre. (Really, I’d like a Surgeon General’s Warning; “Leftist drivel fiction that could put a cup of coffee to sleep” placed on them all. It would have saved me a lot of time).

dgarsys
Guest

Also looseley relevant ( I just remembered it) on the topic of checkbox fiction – Ringo’s Ravencon rant, largely focusing on a lady who presumed that writing a novel from the perspective of a dog qualified as a whole new genre.

Calvin Gordon Dodge
Guest

Agreed! For those who haven’t encountered Ringo’s hilarious rant, head to http://www.orthogonaltonormal.com/midden/RavenCon%202006.pdf

thewriterinblack
Guest
According to the Williams Institute ( http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/census-lgbt-demographics-studies/how-many-people-are-lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender/ ) there are about 700,000 “transgendered” people in the US. That, of course, is much larger than the number who have the actual sexual reassignment surgery but let’s go with it for sake of discussion. There are about 314 million people in the US. So all those people who think of themselves as something other than the sex they physically presented at birth amount to about one in 450. Now, let’s look at the “average” novel (a similar analysis can be made for shorts). How many characters does the average novel have that… Read more »
saintonge235
Guest

About the only thing anyone agrees on in these statistics is that the vast majority of transsexuals keep that part of their life to themselves. (For which I thank them muchly. I am SO sick of strangers expecting me to be interested in their personal lives.) So, in those fifteen novels Larry has under contract, he should take one new character and decide that he/she/it/whatever is transsexual, announce that after the fifteenth novel is published, but respect the character’s privacy and refuse to tell anyone who they is. 😉

RedJack
Guest

They’re all people who get shit done. That appeals to readers who like the concept of get shit done. Which is why I like your books. Simple, direct, solve the problem stories. No over arching message about how the world is just not fair for XYZ gender, just solve the problem and get stuff done.

Tom
Guest
Jim wrote: “You might be a popular writer, because there are certainly plenty of people who want to devour books that don’t challenge them in any way, but that doesn’t make you a good writer. That’s probably an argument best saved for another blog post, though.” Actually, it doesn’t make one a good writer. Good writing makes one a good writer. However, Larry’s original fisking was about a writing career, not about writing that a SFWA member might consider “good”. I’ve read tons of stuff. Most of the time, the stuff that’s called “good” by the so-called intelligencia is usually… Read more »
trackback

[…] by free thinkers of all political stripes. And when the wagons circled? Mr, Correia went on to ridicule the wagons. Other authors had weighed in on this. John C. Wright wrote an excellent essay not only on this, […]

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[…] by free thinkers of all political stripes. And when the wagons circled? Mr, Correia went on to ridicule the wagons. Other authors had weighed in on this. John C. Wright wrote an excellent essay not only on this, […]

Cadeyrn
Guest

I found a fascinating juxtaposition as I plowed through the fisking. “Those who get shit done” versus “Those who circle-jerk about the theme of the day.”

That is all.

Teri
Guest

Does everyone know about the Literature Map?

http://www.literature-map.com/

“The closer two writers are, the more likely someone will like both of them.”

Cut to the chase and find out who Larry hangs out with:

http://www.literature-map.com/larry+correia.html

Achillea
Guest

First I’ve heard of it, but it’s utterly fascinating. Thanks for linking that.

C.S. Gilmore
Guest

Thanks for sharing this, it is awosome.

Achillea
Guest

Their algorithm is a bit odd, though. What’s with all the romance writers all up in Lois Bujold’s space? Georgette Heyer? Ye gods.

Holly Stockley
Guest

Very probably it’s picking up on the comparison made between “A Civil Campaign” and Georgette Heyer. I think that quote might even be on the cover of the paperback.

Really, that book is as much a Regency Romance/Comedy of Manners as it is SciFi.

saintonge235
Guest

From what I’ve learned interacting with fellow Bujold fans, a fair percentage are fans of Georgette Heyer. I’ve got one of her books, and I’ll read it Real Soon Now.

TM
Guest
So can someone please explain to me this bullshit about “people need characters that look like them in order to relate to the characters”. I admit this may be my cisnormative gender binary white male privilege showing up, but I never once in my life had trouble identifying with, enjoying or wanting to be like a particular character because they looked different from me. Heck, when I was a kid, the character I most wanted to be, in all of sci-fi ever was a blind black man (Geordi LaForge) (of which I am neither), to the point where that was… Read more »
Albert
Guest

The Right and Honorable Toni, of the ancient and noble house of Weisskopf, Lady Baen Herself after the order of Our Lord and Publisher, Jim the BAEN (Long May She Publish!), is sad – like a puppy – to report that nobody has actually managed to put on their big non-gender-determinate panties and file that complaint they were threatening to.

Scott
Guest
Over on Jim’s site Kratman made a comment about writing a tank wearing a dress. You mock me screeched the queer, never going to buy your books! as if, knock it off wined Jimmy boy. Now, in yellow eyes Tom had the AI running the cruiser buy several hundred yards of silk for a dress so she could look pretty in port. Which just goes to show we read some of there output and they read none of ours. Sarah Hoit made a similar point several posts back using examples. Thanks for the laughs Larry, Tom and others who’ve taken… Read more »
Shawna
Guest

Nice article. Regarding the end of it… I actually used to follow Wil Wheaton on Twitter, but I got sick of all his lefty posts about how sucky people who think like me are. I unfollowed him about the same time I started following Adam Baldwin. I figure that’s about an even trade, right? I still retain my sci-fi geek cred but have to read less whiny leftist BS.

Incidentally, as a fantasy-type writer who is trying to get published, I find your practical writing advice very helpful and encouraging.

trackback

[…] entertaining as it might be to watch the Correia vs Hines Fiskfest, I have news for you.  It. Doesn’t. […]

Randy Wilde
Guest

Just wanted to chime in… I got here through a series of blog links (Instapundit -> Sarah Hoyt -> Kate Paulk -> here). I may be one of those readers you’re talking about that’s been leaving SF, but I’m trying to get back in, and not just rereading the Heinlein, McCaffrey, Herbert, etc. I grew up on.

I like what you have to say, and will definitely be checking out your books on Amazon.

jqhitman
Guest

As an aspiring writer, wow. Reading the exchange just proves the point about how message-platforms are generally boring. Write characters, not identities.

Seraph
Guest
Oh.My.God. That was a MEAL! A delicious, delectable, savory filling meal, part ole’ style Bar-B-Q, and part culinary masterpiece. Thank you, Mr. Correia for taking the time to prepare it. Bravo! I admit I had not read anything of yours before, but I bought two of your books from Amazon just now. Cannot WAIT to read them on the train on the way home. It is truly amazing, and insidious, how the left insinuates itself into various communities and organizations, and then tries to subvert and convert those whole thing into another arm of their ideology. And true to form,… Read more »
deepelemblues
Guest
I think Hines’ comment about don’t read the comments is borne out of fear. When these people attack someone, it’s total war. They are throwing we hatey hatemongers out of civilized society. The only problem with that is it doesn’t convince many people who aren’t already true believers. Now when we hatey hatemongers do it, it’s obvious that our main intent is humorous mockery, not personal destruction. It is more appealing to people who don’t already agree with us. We’re having fun. Are they having fun? Sure doesn’t look like it. So don’t read the comments to Correia’s blog posts,… Read more »
Gina Davis
Guest
I got linked here to read about the whole saga, and I was just amazed at how interesting the whole thing was. I got outta the game of reading SF a few years ago because I was so bored at seeing the same messages (environmental mostly) shoved down my throat on every page. I couldn’t just sit and ENJOY it, I always had to wonder, ‘Where is the slap gunna come from?’ and that get’s so tedious. A budding writer myself, (though I’m more a crime fiction person than SF) I’ll definitely be taking your advice to heart. Also, your… Read more »
Dicentra spectabilis (@dicentra33)
Guest

Is this really true?

“Readers want to enjoy stories where they can find characters like themselves”

I want to enjoy stories that include characters who are NOTHING LIKE me.

I already know myself; why would I want to read more about THAT?

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[…] McFarlene’s Post on her own site on January 29 Book Staffer’s Review on January 29 Correia’s Response to Hine’s Response on January 29 James May’s Essay. Not really sure when this was posted but it is one of the […]

Abuse Liability
Guest
I’ve read much of your work and I like it. It does tell a good story, especially the MHI stuff. Its why I like guys like Jim Butcher. I can’t tell which way they lean (e.g., conservative, liberal) in their writings. I suppose some of your own philosophy will undoubtedly seep into your writings, but when they come across ham-handedly… god what a turn off. I like Ringo, but even he’s gone a little overboard with his conservatism… we get it, liberals are determined to short circuit evolution and I even agree to a certain extent, but story first man!… Read more »
saintonge235
Guest
The most fascinating thing in all this, to me anyway, is that it never occurred to MacFarlane to give any reason for why the ‘cisgender default’ should be broken. She wants sf authors to write stories in which it’s routing for people not to identify as male/female gender just because they were born with the appropriate sex organs. Yet that is exactly what over 99% of the population does. Why should we expect the transgendered to go from less than one percent to a fairly high percentage of the population? Because that what she would prefer, I guess. Oh, btw,… Read more »
pst314
Guest

“I want an end to the default of binary gender in science fiction stories.”

which demands this quote:

Stan: I want to have babies.
Reg: You want to have babies?!?!
Stan: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.
Reg: But … you can’t HAVE babies!
Stan: Don’t you oppress me!
Reg: I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb! Where’s the foetus gonna gestate? You gonna keep it in a box?

soupdragon
Guest

All wisdom can be found in Monty Python, either the Life of Brian, or the Holy Grail.
so it is written.

pst314
Guest

🙂

But don’t forget the Cheese Shop, Dead Parrot, and Ministry of Silly Walks.

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[…] Correia’s Response to Hine’s Response on January 29 […]

pst314
Guest

“You might be a popular writer, because there are certainly plenty of people who want to devour books that don’t challenge them in any way, but that doesn’t make you a good writer.”
So “challenge” is one of the euphemisms for “heavily push the left-wing ideology”.
Jim Hines probably has no idea how much he sounds like a kommissar.

pst314
Guest
“EDIT: Just check Facebook and Twitter. So it turns out in typical statist fashion that the proper goodthinkers are petitioning my publishing house, Baen Books, that they need to distance themselves from their awful authors like me, Williamson, Ringo, and Kratman” When they write columns complaining about the prevalence of “cisnormative” characters, I ignore them. When they write columns excoriating those who disagree with them, I laugh. When they try to harm the careers of those they disagree with, I stop laughing and think they should be encouraged to emigrate to Cuba or North Korea or Iran, where they can… Read more »
pst314
Guest

“Alles klar, herr Kommissar?”

tddrinnon
Guest

Frank Capra said, “If you want to send a message, try Western Union.”

Calvin Gordon Dodge
Guest

That’s generally attributed to Samuel Goldwyn

tddrinnon
Guest

I’d read it as a quote from Capra. I could be mistaken. The meaning still applies.

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[…] If Jim’s pathetic slap fight attempt at taking me down strikes you as “excellently dissected” I’d hate to live in your sad little Everybody Gets a Trophy world. It was more of an attempted playground hair pulling, so then I responded by metaphorically knocking his fucking teeth in. Here is an actual dissection of excellence, where I take Jim Hines out and kick him around like a soccer ball. http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/29/5687/ […]

chemicussum
Guest

I’d just like to point out that the main character of Heins’ “Libromancer” series is a white male. Also a few of the main characters from his alternate fairy tale series are also white, straight, and single gendered. So… him preaching about gender diversity is amusing. He does have some sexual preference diversity, and it is… kinda awkwardly written. I don’t think he is as solid as he would like to believe on these issues.

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[…] If Jim’s pathetic slap fight attempt at taking me down strikes you as “excellently dissected” I’d hate to live in your sad little Everybody Gets a Trophy world. It was more of an attempted playground hair pulling, so then I responded by metaphorically knocking his fucking teeth in. Here is an actual dissection of excellence, where I take Jim Hines out and kick him around like a soccer ball. http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/29/5687/ […]

IronOx
Guest

Quoting from above “Well that was fun. My congratulations to anyone who read this far.

Why? Do you normally have a problem with readers finishing your writing? I don’t have that problem.”

Found that hysterical since I stopped reading his article before I reached that point because it bored the hell out of me, and I’m still going strong on yours.

Duffy
Guest
I may have missed something, I could be wrong. But in all of this, did someone answer the obvious question? If it is so terminally important that we have these stories that do not end use the, uh, well…”default binary gender”, why the hell have not Jim C. Hines or Alex MacFarlane written the Novel? Or hell for all I know they did, the end result is the same. It did not sale. The argument should be settled there? No, why not? I do not know what the goal is, unless they figure, well, if all Science fiction has to… Read more »
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[…] the White Knights who rode up to defend the poor damsel in distress from my Big Evil Swarthy Menace http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/29/5687/ I heard from a whole bunch of authors, ranging from just beginning to superstars, but mostly […]

Miriam McMahan
Guest

Well I for one would like to thank you for writing stories that are about good people killing evil people/monsters without all the graphic crap that writing PC crap seems to come with. I like to be able to turn my boys(all four came with penises and the doctor declared them boys) on to entertaining writers that I’m comfortable with them reading and my 16yr old is hooked on all of your writing. Thanks for keeping it real and teen friendly in sci-fi.

John C Wright
Guest

I see I am in good company. After you, Mr Hines has decided to slander me.

http://www.jimchines.com/2014/12/john-wright-legend-of-korra/

Alas, I do not have the stomach or the free time to rake him over the coals as he deserves. Your soul must wear hip-high wading boots to be able to slog through such ooze.

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[…] sci-fi/fantasy world alight and kicked SP2 into high gear. Larry Correia had a lot to say about this particular bit of social justice […]

Urusigh
Guest
Honestly, I’ve read several of Jim Hines’s books and quite enjoyed them. I also found his attempt at fisking you pretty entertaining, if not necessarily in the manner he intended. There’s definitely a lot of talking past you there (and talking past Alex in a few places). He’d even be right on some of it…except that he never seemed to realize that where Alex was addressing ALL sci-fi authors, you wrote your post to address aspiring professional authors (a subset of the above) which makes all of his “would it be nice if x” statement irrelevant. Aspiring authors who want… Read more »
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