Monster Hunter Nation

Left Wing Bias in Publishing: Your Wrongthink Will Be Punished!

This is a great read about the political bias in mainstream publishing.  http://www.nickcolebooks.com/2016/02/09/banned-by-the-publisher/

But remember, all of those allegations about ideological bias against conservative and libertarians was just in you Wrongfans’ imagination.

I don’t know Nick Cole. I spoke with him on the internet for the first time this week. I’ve never read any of his books, but apparently lots of people have. From what I understand he was a solid midlister, who was selling well, and growing his backlist. The usual good career track stuff. His last book did well and got great reviews. However, one small bit in the next (under contract) book in the series hopelessly offended a young editor at Harper and it went sideways. But read Nick’s account.  It is fascinating stuff.

For years we’ve known there is a liberal bias in the publishing industry. I mean come on, almost all of them work in Manhattan. Duh. Of course the publishing industry vehemently denies that. Left wing fans don’t see it the same way fish don’t notice water is wet. It just is.  Right wing fans get sick of being preached at or treated like they’re stupid, and go spend their entertainment dollars elsewhere.

Because this isn’t my first rodeo, I already know exactly how Nick is going to get attacked and dismissed.

  1. There is no bias.

On the contrary, it is biased, and anybody who has paid any attention at all knows it. Just like Americans in general, some authors are politically apathetic and don’t pay any attention to that part of their business. Other authors know about the bias, but they benefit from it, so they’re cool. Other authors know it, but don’t say anything because speaking up is at best a hassle, and at worse, career damaging. Then there’re some of us who can’t keep our big stupid mouths shut.

Authors are about as evenly divided ideologically as the rest of America, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at what we say in public, or reading our books. That’s because most of the non-left keep their heads down to avoid rocking the boat. In my genre there are hundreds of outspoken left wing authors, because that’s accepted, normal, and good, while there are a few dozen outspoken on the right. And that’s way more than when I started. The declining power of traditional gatekeepers has enabled more writers to speak freely.

Once I started being really vocal I was shocked by how many well-known, established authors I met who had the wrong politics who were keeping their heads down out of fear of damaging their careers. I’m talking living legends, and I’m all like “Whoa… You?” There are lots more than you’d think. We’ve got like a secret handshake and a decoder ring and everything now.

I’ve also spoken to a bunch of liberal authors who think the system is hopelessly biased to the point of stifling free expression and artistic creativity, but even being on the home team they can’t say anything without fear of hurting their careers. All the time at cons I meet an author for the first time and get some variation of “I disagree with your politics, but you’re right about this.” And then it usually turns into them ranting about how messed up their publishing house is.

  1. Let’s quibble over the definition of “censorship” and “banned”.

I haven’t read the other side’s take on Nick’s article yet, but knowing them as well as I do I can guarantee that will be brought up. While I was reading that link the second I saw those terms I knew the CHORFs would do the whole Strain at a Gnat, Swallow a Camel thing, nitpick the definitions, and then dismiss the whole thing.

Yes. A publisher is perfectly free to reject a book.

Yes. Refusing to publish someone’s work is not the same as banning it.

Yes. Part of an editor’s job is “censoring”.

Yes. Part of an editor’s job is understanding the author’s market, what the customers want, and providing them a product which will sell and be profitable.

Duh.

Great. Now that the stupidly obvious is out of the way for the dimwits at File 770 (don’t forget to look both ways before crossing the street!), let’s get down to the important part of Why it was rejected.

Politics. Period.

So, for definitions I wouldn’t use the word Ban, but it is certainly censorship: the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts.

In this case, unacceptable was a small idea that cast a bit of liberal orthodoxy in a negative light.

And this wasn’t a message book. This wasn’t a big recurring theme. This wasn’t a preachy, beat you over the head with Special Topic X message of the day (note, all that stuff is perfectly cool with mainstream publishing when it is left wing), this was one bit of backstory about one group of characters explaining their motivations.

But that one kernel of something that could be construed as going against holy left wing dogma was the kiss of death. It was horribly offensive. AIs find casual abortion of convenience an indicator of humans possessing a callous disregard for life… (that’s actually a pretty clever idea for the usual AI uprising trope). Nope. That’ll offend 50% of your audience!

Oh bullshit.

In a genre where we can be eyeball deep in murder, rape, genocide, every crime known to man while inventing a bunch of new ones, carnage, and sheer awfulness, with dangerous ideas supposedly our bread and butter… Yet having a bit that from the PoV of one group looking at a progressive sacrament in a negative light is just too offensive to tolerate. Now if a left wing author wants to sprinkle liberal amounts of abortion through their fiction, make all the Christians into belligerent inbred rednecks, and then kick George Bush’s severed head down the street, nobody in Manhattan publishing is going to bat an eye. Because they live in a Manhattan echo chamber where everybody thinks the same way, and the idea of there being customers who would find that offensive is simply inconceivable to them.

This is supposed to be a genre of ideas, big ones, small ones, and dangerous ones. The problem is that for too long we’ve had a homogenous bunch of gatekeepers, many of whom were willing to sacrifice story and creativity in favor of enforcing a rigid group think. And then some ideas just aren’t allowed.

The fact that this editor thought that bit would turn off 50% of Nick’s audience just demonstrates how incredibly out of touch these people are now. Sure, years ago that might have been the case because all of the review places were as in lockstep as the publishers, so if anything with dangerous wrongthink escaped into the wild it would be trashed or ignored. They’re still trying to do that (which was one of the reasons behind Sad Puppies) but their stranglehold is crumbling.

  1. This is all a publicity stunt to sell more books.

Since I’m an author with GET PAID in my mission statement, I wouldn’t blame him if it was, but I don’t think so. That story is far too familiar, and I know too many other authors where similar things have happened. However, I warned Nick yesterday to get ready. This story appears to have gone viral. He is probably about to get slandered with every vile accusation imaginable by the CHORFs.

We’ve seen repeatedly that any time an author breaks from the group think, they’re going to get slammed. If you say anything at all about the existing system, it is either a publicity stunt, or you’re a delusional liar, or a bitter whiner with sour grapes. At no point in time does the idea that you’re telling the truth as you perceive it actually ever enter into their narrative.

Yet you can tell the truth and get publicity. Once this story broke Nick’s self pubbed version of this book went right to the top of the charts. Scaring off 50% of your audience? Nonsense. He’s sitting at #1 in like three genres right now. Like I said, the gatekeepers are crumbling. Their ignorance would be laughable if it hadn’t already screwed over so many good authors.

Here is the beautiful part… For decades the left held all the power. Readers are sick of their shit. The fact that standing up to them can actually be a sales boost demonstrates that their power is waning. You know why I talk about the size of my royalty checks? Because nothing pisses the bullies off more than being successful despite their best efforts to trash you.

Nick is getting publicity off of this? GOOD. That means creators no longer have to be beholden to the whims of every twenty something junior editor with a gender studies degree in Manhattan.

 

One Star Reviews Over Book Prices are Dumb.
Son of the Black Sword is an Audie Award finalist, Best Fantasy 2016

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239 Comments on "Left Wing Bias in Publishing: Your Wrongthink Will Be Punished!"


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Brian Niemeier
3 months 16 days ago

Thanks for continually shining a light on this, Larry. Thanks also for pointing me (and many others) toward my latest book purchase 🙂

The cognitive dissonance and downright pettiness of the establishment is truly mind-boggling. An outfit that shall remain nameless recently caught the vapors from a post in which I failed to properly ostracize Vox.

Since they have zero leverage over me, they vented their catty frustration at one of my editors. Classy!

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Christopher M. Chupik
3 months 16 days ago

Could that organization’s name rhyme with “Dial to Eleventy”? 😉

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Joshua Young
3 months 16 days ago

Surprisingly, it was not. It was someone that I had assumed was more on our side than not. Dial to Eleventy’s rage would hardly be news.

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Brian Niemeier
3 months 16 days ago

Oddly, not this time. But we probably shouldn’t rule it out.

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Eric, MSgt, USAF, Ret.
3 months 16 days ago

Dang Larry, I was going t send you the Redstate article link as a heads up! As I posted on the Book of Faces: “… This country is ging to split apart, progressives on one side, conservatives on the other. Well, probably won’t be too bad if that happens. Think of who wants to ban firearms, then think of who owns them! Would you want to bring a protest sign to a gun fight?”
Keep up the good work, Sir! I’ve loved everything you’ve written. Just wish I could afford one of those MHI lowers.

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EndOfPatience
3 months 16 days ago

Simply for accuracy sake, we’re already two nations inhabiting one country.

And as Kurt Schlichter pointed out, they’re trapped in here with us. My addition is, they’re free to leave whenever they want – for now.

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Dawn Dreams
3 months 16 days ago

Excellent, another buycott! I now have two more books added to my hugely long, hopeless-optimistic-in-my-own-longevity long TBR list.

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Hugh Mannity
3 months 16 days ago

We’re going to live forever because we can’t die until we’ve read all the books we own!

Keep writing (and reading) Larry!

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wade
3 months 16 days ago

I bought Monster Hunter International when I saw a blurb about Sad Puppies (two I think) on Instapundit. I’ve now read (or listened to) all of Larry’s books. In my case the controversy led me to find a great new writer.

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mark
3 months 11 days ago

Same here. I think I’ll sue Glenn for the resulting damage to my bank account 😉

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Wolfmanjim
3 months 16 days ago

3: This is all a publicity stunt to sell more books.

Since he had to self publish, DUH!

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Patrick
3 months 16 days ago

I’m a pro-choice (on everything — abortion, guns, drugs, marriage, etc.) libertarian and nothing in the sample chapter was remotely offensive, aside from the fact that I think the author may be prescient about the future of reality television.

I guess I’m not the Manhattan publisher’s market, either.

I’m buying the book.

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James May
3 months 16 days ago

An unemotional intelligence taking human actions literally is classic SF, and doing so in the context of some goofy TV show is straight out of Phillip Dick. Would these folks have published Dick? These folks like to think of themselves as progressives but they are the sorts who banned even the mild Edgar Rice Burroughs from libraries.

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jic
3 months 15 days ago

“Would these folks have published Dick?”

If they keep going like they are, they’ll have dick to publish.

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Richard McEnroe
3 months 12 days ago

Dey ain’t publishing dick I read now.m.

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junior
3 months 16 days ago

Unfortunately, to many in the pro-choice side of the argument (note – I’m pro-life), *anything* that might cast aspersions on abortion is to be prohibited. For instance, the primary reason why Kermit Gosnell’s Abortion House of Horrors was allowed to continue running as long as it did was because there was a fear in his state that if the inspectors who were legally required to inspect abortion clinics did so, and were forced to shut one down (which is what should have happened to Gosnell), then it would cause a negative backlash against abortion. IIrc, what eventually caused Gosnell to be investigated was his side business in prescription drugs.

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Bugmaster
3 months 16 days ago

I understand that “many” is not the same as “all”, but just for the record: I’m pro-choice, and I believe that anyone should be able to freely express whatever opinion he wants to express about abortion, even if (especially if) he disagrees with me. Or, in other words, most SJWs are liberal, but not all liberals are SJWs.

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junior
3 months 16 days ago

Unfortunately, the ‘many’ happens to include a lot of people in power. Otherwise, Gosnell would have been caught much, much earlier.

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Doctor Locketopus
3 months 15 days ago

“*anything* that might cast aspersions on abortion is to be prohibited.”

Yes. See the flap about “humanizing the fetus” in the Doritos Super Bowl commercial.

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Shadowdancer
3 months 11 days ago

Yeah, that was especially dumb, since the doctor is clearly heard to state ‘any day now,’ thus ‘full term’ thus waaaaay beyond the time it’s allowed to be aborted.

It’s hilarious, honestly, because when the dimwitted pro-aborts in question shrieked and screamed, they revealed that they’re okay with aborting viable, full term babies.

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jaed
3 months 10 days ago

‘full term’ thus waaaaay beyond the time it’s allowed to be aborted

Minor note: ten US states have no age restrictions on abortion, and in these states it is legal to abort a viable full-term baby.

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snelson134
3 months 10 days ago

Ten states have them; how many of them are actually enforced, given that most of the clinics are in blue-run cities and no one really wants the reputation for misogyny on their record that the SJWs will put there……. is a whole ‘nother question.

Kermit Gosnell ring any bells?

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Jim
3 months 11 days ago

Since you appear to be willing to actually converse, maybe you can answer a question for me that most “pro-choice” folks either ignore or just scream profanity when I ask. Do you support the choice to kill one’s children after birth as well, or do you believe that being born somehow imparts a different status upon the child?

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Shadowdancer
3 months 11 days ago

I’d have replaced ‘offensive’ with terrifying, myself, because we’re kinda there. At the edge of that scary description being reality.

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Greg Shackelford
3 months 16 days ago

I am probably on many other “Wrongthink” lists, what’s one more. I love your work, and I am going to give Nick a try. Hell, that’s how I started reading your books. When I get caught up on my regular authors (Weber, Ringo, Kratman, Taylor, Williamson) I typically browse books looking for Baen Books on the spine.

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BigFire
3 months 16 days ago

When I pick this story from your twitter feed yesterday, I spend $0.99 of my hard earned money and bought the book right away.

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steve caldwell
3 months 16 days ago

Larry, way to skewer the leftist gatekeepers! When I saw Nick’s original post, I read the blog and was thinking WTF? I have been Facebook friends with Nick Ever since discovering Soda Pop Soldier, and he has always been a gracious, even tempered guy. I immediately bought Control/Alt, Revolt! and started reading the “oh so offensive” first chapter. What a load of horsecrap by his Pub house. It actually struck me as more an Ironic scen than enything else, the AI arguing with itself (subroutines debating) about this episode of a reality show, and thinking that it was completely reflective of human society, and not just people always stop to watch a train wreck, doesnt mean they want to get into one. I mean, It wasn’t preachy at all, and only a hardcore NARAL activist could possibly be offended. Thanks for your commentary, because hopefully, it will have the effect of more authors raising their heads out of the foxholes and firing for effect!

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Thomas Hewlett
3 months 16 days ago

Very interesting read! Immediate thought was: I don’t see what was so offensive in that chapter, for pro-lifers or pro-choicers. The robots are a new life form, see how humans deal with threatening life forms and draw their own conclusions. So the problem is….?

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J.E. Mac
3 months 16 days ago

I read an ARC before I even knew he was dropped. When I found out he was dropped, I also didn’t know what was offensive. So I asked. And had to laugh. Because it was beyond stupid.

Apparently, the problem is American literacy and reading comprehension in general, because:

1) The first chapter (Hell, the first line of the book) is very satirical. Somehow, the “editor” missed this.

2) You’re actually supposed to be offended by how callous, vapid, and self centered this reality TV star’s decision to abort her child is… because it’s the whole reason the robots in his robot AI apocalypse story decide to exterminate humanity (You know, because the humans these bots see so casually disregard life that’s inconvenient that they probably wouldn’t treat artificially intelligent life much better).

But again, the book isn’t about that. It’s just a simple, satirical, entertaining way to give the bad guys a pretty good sympathetic motive.

You know, we generally call that, good writing.

The other problem is:

3) Using 18-22 year old unpaid college interns and calling them “editors.”

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Laughingdog
3 months 16 days ago

His blog is already blocked on the NMCI system. So that says a lot to me right there.

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Murgy
3 months 16 days ago

I had to google NMCI. Being blocked by NMCI means “what” to us civilians? (Getting asked Every Page Refresh if I wanted to subscribe to his newsletter got a teeny bit annoying, but that’s a different issue. Or is it?) Cryptic isn’t very useful, in this context.
Regardless, I read the preview on Amazon, and found it interesting. YMMV

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Carrie B
3 months 16 days ago

I’d imagine there are thousands (upon thousands) of blogs blocked on NMCI. The important question is “WHEN did it get blocked?”

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Anachronda
3 months 16 days ago

NMCI blocks things that it doesn’t know about, which appears to be the case here. Note the “Category: None” on the denial page.

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PeterK
3 months 16 days ago

I’ll admit I did the publicity stunt thing. Granted I also don’t care. If it’s a publicity stunt good for him. I am glad he’s seeing success. Wresting control from CHORFs is always a good thing.

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C.J. Carella
3 months 16 days ago

We finally have a real marketplace of ideas in place, thanks to ebooks. A few years ago, Nick’s story would have ended with him blackballed in the industry, his books gone off print, and his writing career utterly destroyed. The times, they are a’changing. Readers now have the chance to decide what’s worthwhile, rather than a group of self-deluded wannabe commissars whose track record shows they have next to no idea what their customers want.

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Biill Reich
3 months 15 days ago

Shut up and write

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Skyler the Weird
3 months 16 days ago

They complain about Doritos Commercials it’s not surprising then that they would point and shreik at Synthetics not wishing to be aborted.

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Anthony Pacheco
3 months 16 days ago

BOOK BOMB him, Larry!

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Cadeyrn
3 months 16 days ago

Actually, if you follow the link in the main story to Amazon, the book is on sale right now for $0.99 – quite the bargain.

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Alex Jeffries
3 months 16 days ago

It’s also on Kindle Unlimited.

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Fruitbat44
3 months 16 days ago

OMG and WTF? I hope it isn’t a publicity stunt; the boy who cried wolf and all that. OTOH I’d rather not think there were editors for major publishing houses out there who were so knee-jerk in their opinions. -sigh- Okay I always believe in getting both sides of the story before forming a definite opinion, but it doesn’t look good.

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airboy
3 months 16 days ago

Sounds like another publisher can pick up a profitable author to me.

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Hillary's Server Selling Secrets
3 months 16 days ago

Bought his book this morning

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Were-Puppy
3 months 16 days ago

I got one of the books, $.99 at Amazon. I’d not heard of the guy before this, and I’m a sucker to help out someone battling the CHORFs and self unaware SJWs.

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Bill Harrison
3 months 15 days ago

I’ve read most of his books and love them. Read his Wasteland series. It’s excellent. So is Soda Pop Soldier.

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T.L. Knighton
3 months 16 days ago

I read Nick Cole’s post yesterday. Read his description of what happened in his book, and frankly, I thought it was a hell of a twist on the “AI tries to kill humanity” trope. I liked it.

And I didn’t see it as being a pro-choice message or anything. It was an AI making a decision based on the data it had…which isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Damn, sounds like someone at his publisher needed to up their meds.

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Reziac
3 months 16 days ago

I had the same response. “Well, that’s an interesting take…” and it just didn’t occur to me that I should get in an uproar because these AIs don’t agree with my politics. What am I doing wrong??

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Feather Blade
3 months 12 days ago

Report to Reeducation Farm 7. You will be informed of the nature of your failure there.

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Reziac
3 months 9 days ago

[reports to farm, discovers three starving pigs and an arthritic goat]

Hey, who’s managing this place? Must be a bureaucrat.

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Shadowdancer
3 months 11 days ago

It’s a logical conclusion, really, given what reproduction is supposed to be about. AIs work off of logic. That’s too alien a concept for the CHORFs.

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Reziac
3 months 9 days ago

Yep. And now it occurs to me that I’ve seen the same concept used before, except it was aliens who reached the same conclusion about humans, for the same reason. (Been a lot of years ago, no idea whose work)

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Saber Alter
3 months 8 days ago

We’re discussing a group of people who sincerely believe that if you “identify” as a woman, you are regardless of your plumbing, chromosomes, brain wiring, or anything else that’s provable in the real world. Logic is not a part of their skill set.

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James May
3 months 16 days ago

“Crossed Genres ‏@crossedgenres Dec 3 The ‘Golden Age’ of SFF contained absurd amounts of racism, sexism, etc. in its most revered works. So no, we wouldn’t publish those books… We said if presented w/ those works new & unpublished, we wouldn’t publish them. The fact that they were published means racism/sexism was more openly accepted back then. That doesn’t make it okay. They shldn’t have been published”

*

“Many of the books tossed into the flames in Berlin that night by the joyous students under the approving eye of Dr. Goebbels had been written by authors of world reputation. They included, among German writers, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Lion Feuchtwanger, Jakob Wassermann, Arnold and Stefan Zweig, Erich Maria Remarque, Walther Rathenau, Albert Einstein, Alfred Kerr and Hugo Preuss, the last named being the scholar who had drafted the Weimar Constitution. But not only the works of dozens of German writers were burned. A good many foreign authors were also included: Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Helen Keller, Margaret Sanger, H. G. Wells, Havelock Ellis, Arthur Schnitzler, Freud, Gide, Zola, Proust…

“Seven subchambers were established to guide and control every sphere of cultural life: the Reich chambers of fine arts, music, the theater, literature, the press, radio and the films. All persons engaged in these fields were obligated to join their respective chambers, whose decisions and directives had the validity of law. Among other powers, the chambers could expel – or refuse to accept – members for ‘political unreliability,’ which meant that those who were even lukewarm about National Socialism could be, and usually were, excluded from practicing their profession or art and thus deprived of a livelihood. No one who lived in Germany in the Thirties, and who cared about such matters, can ever forget the sickening decline of the cultural standards of a people who had had such high ones for so long a time. This was inevitable, of course, the moment the Nazi leaders decided that the arts, literature, the press, radio and the films must serve exclusively the propaganda purposes of the new regime and its outlandish philosophy.” – William H. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

*

Once you have such an “outlandish philosophy” as intersectional gender feminism where “racism, sexism” only applies to one race and sex, anything can be anything.

For those of you unaware, Crossed Genres up top is the webzine which published the Kickstarter SFF anthology Long Hidden, an anti-straight white male drubbing co-edited by two of the most vicious anti-white voices in SFF: Daniel Jose Older and Rose Fox. Unsurprisingly, Long Hidden was promoted on John Scalzi’s site as a “big idea.”

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Doctor Locketopus
3 months 16 days ago

Long Hidden has a current Amazon sales rank of #428,741. Mr. Cole’s book has a current sales rank of #173.

As they say, living well is the best revenge. 🙂

It’s also interesting that of the Long Hidden contributors with author pics on Amazon, 6/8 (75%) appear to be white.

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James May
3 months 16 days ago

Here are the “hidden,” from the Kickstarter blurb: “…enslaved people, indigenous people, people of color, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, the very young and very old, and religious minorities, among others—are relegated to the margins.”

I only recognized 8 of the 25 authors by name. None are straight white males. All have a history of anti-white, anti-male non-fiction rhetoric. In other words they are my favorite new phrase about Third Wave Feminists: “graceless sociopaths.” The fact they pass themselves off as an anti-defamation league is where Orwell comes in.

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Steve S
3 months 16 days ago

One of the first stories I submitted for critique at my writing group got the same weird threats when I refused to change two aspects of the story. The first aspect was a simple joke about female dogs and werewolves calling their female members bitches. Since it was a harsh story with harsh characters doing harsh things with a harsh sense of humor those minor jokes fit perfectly. The people who did the actual critique got the jokes (and the people around the table laughed at the jokes when I read the first half of the story aloud) but in the round up discussion after the critique was over I had about six people insisting that I needed to cut those jokes. I disagreed.

A few months later I came back with a completely rewritten story to get a new critique and the critiquers of the first version were happy with the changes I had made (which was based on my realizing how much of their critiques were spot on), but the pile on around the table got even more intense because I hadn’t taken out those jokes. I was told it would never be published because of those jokes (possible, but I’d rather write the story the way it feels right in my head rather than sanitize it preemptively), and that I had to add a female character (who would manipulate all the male characters and win in the end. Woohoo. Never read that before and I know of no hundreds of authors who would be willing to write that story), and I shrugged my shoulders and told the truth: I didn’t care. The story was the story I wanted to tell and I refused to make changes based on someone else’s philosophy. Period. Full stop.

The best thing I was told though was that no editor anywhere would ever publish that story due to the harsh jokes and lack of female characters. And the left wing people telling me this held that up as if it was a trump card. Except I wanted to be a writer because of that fact. That very little fiction was being written to appeal to my sensibilities. I was writing for guys like me (conservative, young, with a heavy metal library of music, and a chip on their shoulders) and had no desire to write for what others presumed was the only market (liberal, old, baby boomer music, chip on their shoulders but usually only about conservatives).

No matter how virulent the argument became my position remained that the story would not change.

Unless someone was willing to toss bags of money at me in order to change it.

I like money. And it would have been worth it to get a foot in the door. But now? With the advent of Indy I’m not sure I’d make even a small concession regarding the philosophy of the story as I can simply side step the gatekeepers and remain true to myself.

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A Nobody
3 months 10 days ago

“I was writing for guys like me … ”

Son, I’m a middle-aged old lady who is also tired of the CHORF littrachewer tropes. I love Buffy, but she started an avalanche that I’m well and truly sick of. I actively look for SFF with male leads and robust action sequences. A book with the currently-typical female badass of all wisdom really has to have something extra going for it for me to look closely (an author I already like, an interesting twist in world-building, etc.). So keep writing YOUR stories and e-publish them so I can read them.

Oh, and thanks for refusing to be bullied. We older ladies who enjoy masculine men do admire that.

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NukemHill
3 months 16 days ago

Thanks for the link, Larry. Picked up the book right away.

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detroyes
3 months 16 days ago

Well, I know at least one book that will be making the Sad Puppies V list…

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Mark Olivares
3 months 16 days ago

Cole’s Wasteland series was a fun read. I’d read this even if it DIDN’T offend the Left, that
‘s just an extra benefit.

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Harold Lines
3 months 16 days ago

Why not start a publishing company that’s friendly to conservative writers? Or maybe I should say friendly to ALL writers, regardless of their politics. Maybe that would allow the conservative “living legends” to come out of the shadows.

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Dave Freer
3 months 16 days ago

Larry, while I agree with most of what you’re saying, there are a couple of relevant points I’d like to make. Firstly Gallup puts Liberals at 24% of the population (and Conservatives at 38%, with moderates taking up the rest) As the doctrinaire US liberals aggressively disdain and discriminate against moderates let alone conservatives that means ‘appeasing 24% of the audience at the expense of 76%. Secondly the discrimination against anyone not overtly liberal by traditional NYC publishing means that while there are closet moderates and conservatives (and a handful who are ‘out’) the authors who have been bought were often bought BECAUSE of their outspoken bias towards liberal pet issues. So: traditional publishing’s authors (especially recent ones) are substantively skewed AWAY from the demographics of US politics. Readers (or potential readers) however reflect those demographics. That’s why standing up to them is a sales boost.

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ChristopherM. Chupik
3 months 16 days ago

Meanwhile, conservatives are portrayed as some kind of micro-minority, doomed to extinction Any Day Now.

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Bugmaster
3 months 16 days ago

I think (or, perhaps, hope) that the polls are underestimating the number of moderates, due to lumping all “liberals” into the same category. For example, if you asked me about my stance on most of the litmus test social topics — abortion, gun control, gay marriage, religion, etc. — then I’d probably come off sounding as Marx’s best buddy or something. However, I hate the SJW mentality with a passion akin to the one that conservatives reserve for abortion supporters. I think there exists at least circumstantial evidence to suggest that many (if not most) leftists are similar to myself, and that SJWs are a radical (but extremely vocal) minority.

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Robin Munn
3 months 16 days ago

I hate the SJW mentality with a passion akin to the one that conservatives reserve for abortion supporters. I think there exists at least circumstantial evidence to suggest that many (if not most) leftists are similar to myself, and that SJWs are a radical (but extremely vocal) minority.

If so, then the best thing you can do to defeat the SJW mentality is to speak up against it. You may be afraid of having the SJW mob turn on you if you do, but it’s important to have sane leftist voices be heard. Sarah Hoyt recently posted a Don Camillo story at http://accordingtohoyt.com/2016/02/09/the-architecture-of-fear-a-blast-from-the-past-from-12415/ that illustrates the point perfectly. Each and every one of the good, decent communists in that story thought that he was the only one who opposed Gigio, the raving fanatic who wanted to have Don Camillo executed for his political beliefs. But it turned out that Gigio was the only fanatic in the whole group, and everyone else was decent — and once they found out that they were the majority and he was alone, his power over them was broken.

So when you see SJWs of your acquaintance acting like Gigio in the story, wanting to (say) get someone like Brandon Eich fired for their political beliefs… speak up for treating others decently. Let your voice be heard opposing the insanity, because that’s the only way that others will get the courage to speak up too. If the SJWs got roundly condemned by leftists every time they acted like the bullies they are, their power would be broken. (Rightists like me condemn them all the time, but our condemnation is, incorrectly, seen as “Oh, you’re just saying that because you oppose their politics.” No, I oppose their politics and their inhumane behavior.)

So speak up on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Tumblr. Let the other decent leftists know that they are not alone, so that they will be able to speak up too, and end the scourge of SJW-ism.

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Bugmaster
3 months 16 days ago

Unfortunately, I’m just some random guy, and not an Internet personality with 1,000,000 Twitter followers. In fact, I am not even signed up for any social media services, and I’d rather keep it that way.

That said, I’ve been banned from every SJW blog I’ve ever participated in so far, so hey, I must be doing something right !

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Random lefty
3 months 14 days ago

That’s not the point. At the moment, SJWs are able to hound people out of jobs by putting pressure on their employer, and so on.

I’m probably the most left-wing person on this blog (heck, if I was in the US I’d vote for Bernie Sanders). It feels – possibly not for real – that everyone is either an outspoken American conservative, a SJW or terrified of them. At least 30% of my politically-inclined friends have gone full SJW over the last three years. That’s all they post about on social media. It’s like watching an emergent cult. If you say anything about their toxic ideology which – let’s be frank doesn’t help anyone disadvantaged or marginalised – you’re suspected of being a secret shitlord of hate.

If the lefties who didn’t agree with them refused to go along with their performative offence-taking, they’d lose their power. They work by social shaming, by appeals to faux authority (e.g privilege) and by clueless bystanders believing they must have a point.

I should mention that I’ve already done something downright extreme to fight ’em, which has doubtless rendered me traditionally unpublishable (I write SF). I’m planning to do something even more extreme. It would help if I knew I was part of a silent majority and not a fringe contrarian. No one wants to be the lonely lunatic shouting in the wilderness.

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boballab
3 months 16 days ago

The survey Dave Freer is talking about is similar to the one Pew does and it isn’t based on sub topics, it is a straight question: “Do you consider yourself conservative, liberal or moderate/independent?” (different companies use different 3rd grouping). You can look it up but self identified liberals usually run about 20% to 22% and self identified conservatives run around 36% to 38% depending on the survey and year. Here is the link to the Gallup survey: http://www.gallup.com/poll/180452/liberals-record-trail-conservatives.aspx

Note that conservatives are the largest single self identified group and if you go by strict numbers if you have to lose one group to keep the others you are better off losing the liberals.

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Mike Lorrey
3 months 14 days ago

Actually the polls are underestimating the number of leftists, because the worst always tell pollsters that they are moderates. It’s a central tenet of marxist dialectical conflict theory that you work to move the middle of the political spectrum parts by creating false conflicts between extremes, and part by redefining what the middle position is.

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Captain Whitebread
3 months 16 days ago

I bought the book and look forward to reading it. Thanks, Larry.

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Wes S.
3 months 16 days ago

Years ago, I read a Harlan Ellison short story – I forget the title – in which the scumbag, responsibility-dodging protagonist was helping his girlfriend get an abortion at the start of the story . . . and by the end of it found himself trapped in a sewer with hundreds of feral children who’d similarly been flushed away as babies.

The last line of the story has stuck with me ever since: “They call me father.”

Now, Ellison is hardly a conservative or a pro-lifer, and IIRC he was already well-established as a force in several genres when he penned that story whose title I can’t for the life of me remember and whose ending still haunts me. Could he still publish the same thing today? Or would some tyrannical dweeb of an editor throw a tantrum and demand he be banished for badfeelz?

As for me, well, my Kindle now has two of Nick’s stories on it. I’m a couple of chapters into the book that got him canned – “Ctrl-Alt-Revolt” and it’s actually a pretty wicked social satire, among other things. So far, I’m liking it . . . and thanking that nameless putz at HarperCollins for helping me find somebody else to read. 😉

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roo_ster
3 months 16 days ago

The story you describe is “Croatoan.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatoan_(Ellison)

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Medron Pryde
3 months 16 days ago

I did some research (googling) and found the following snippet that may just be about the story you speak of.

“Sex and our culture’s preoccupation with same provides Ellison with plenty of ammunition. In Lonely Women are the Vessels of Time, he takes aim at singles bars and hits them hard. Moving from one-night stand to one-night stand and leaving a trail of broken hearts behind him, the protagonist ultimately meets a succubus who is even emptier and more needy than he is. After taking his potency and his soul, she tells him “Now get up and get dressed and get out of here.” Croatoan finds a similar protagonist wandering through the sewers, searching for his dead girlfriend’s aborted child. Instead, he finds himself surrounded by fetuses riding albino alligators. “I am the one they have been looking for all along,” he says at the conclusion, “They call me father.” Ellison has an uncanny eye for our society’s various hypocrisies, a razor-sharp sense of humor, and a great gift for pissing people off. (Croatoan achieved the unlikely distinction of angering both pro-choice and pro-life people!)”

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Doctor Locketopus
3 months 16 days ago

” I read a Harlan Ellison short story – I forget the title…”

Croatoan.

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Frank Luke
3 months 15 days ago

I read that story decades ago. I didn’t realize it was Ellison (I doubt I would have recognized the name back then anyway).

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Griz
3 months 15 days ago

What types of stories would be included in Dangerous Visions if it were published today. SJWs consider anything anti-PC as DANGEROUS!

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James May
3 months 15 days ago

A Frazetta cover is considered too dangerous for the SFWA.

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Christopher M. Chupik
3 months 15 days ago

No Dangerous Visions allowed in safe spaces.

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Hugh Manniy
3 months 16 days ago

Dammit Larry, you’re ruining my book-buying budget.

Now there’s another author whose books I’m going to be buying. It’s just as well I got my tax refund today.

The SJWs are the best publicists an author could have. They bring in dozens of new readers every time they slam another book. And best of all, you don’t have to pay them for it!

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tmechanic
3 months 16 days ago

From what I read on his blog, this is the prequel to Soda Pop Soldier, and about half of the comments were from people who’d read Soda Pop Soldier and were getting the new book because they enjoyed Soda Pop Soldier. Personally I went dead tree.

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Nohbody
3 months 16 days ago

Regarding the “publicity stunt” argument, I can’t help but wonder if many of those who make those kind of complaints (and not just about the subject of this blog post) are quite happy to forward/retweet/etc click-bait articles from places like Salon, HuffPo, MSNBC, Gawker, and other SJW (or SJW sympathizing) websites, where the title is part of their attempt to gather page views to pitch to advertising agencies that may potentially want to buy ad space from said websites.

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richard mcenroe
3 months 16 days ago

Proglodyte truism are so obviously true that people must be punished for examining them.

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The Phantom
3 months 16 days ago

So far the “discussion” at Vile770 is proceeding exactly as the Dread Overlord Correia has forseen.

I think Larry has their number.

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richard mcenroe
3 months 16 days ago

They only have the one.

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SteveW
3 months 16 days ago

770?

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richard mcenroe
3 months 15 days ago

Number as in song, shtick, act, routine, hustle…

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Doug Loss
3 months 14 days ago

666.

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Frank Luke
3 months 15 days ago

“Easy Captain. As civilized men, you can act like barbarians. However, they, as barbarians, cannot act like civilized men.” -Paraphrasing Spock in Mirror, Mirror

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Richard McEnroe
3 months 11 days ago

Have you SEEN Trump debate? *G*

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Torin3
3 months 14 days ago

Which thread? Because I’m not seeing any discussion of it there, (no URL please, just the date the thread was posted)

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Torin3
3 months 13 days ago

Found it, it was started on the 7th, and I wasn’t looking that far back.

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James May
3 months 16 days ago

There’s irony piled on irony here. In 1956 and ’58 Rod Serling brought two teleplays to TV about the 1955 Mississippi kidnapping and murder of a 14 yr. old black kid named Emmett Till for saying something or other to a white women. The shows were so heavily watered down by network execs and sponsors the point was lost, which infuriated Serling. Over in SFF Ray Bradbury was openly publishing 3 blatantly anti-Jim Crow stories from 1945 to 1951 but which got some crossover into the mainstream arena.

Serling knew Bradbury personally and it must have frustrated him even more when Harper Lee had To Kill a Mockingbird published in 1960 and made into a film in ’62. That novel came about because of a close working relationship between Lee and her editor.

Fast forward to today and you have SFF writers similarly presenting themselves as anti-racists. The problem is that – in principle – they look a lot more like the wrong side of the stories above than the principled equal protection side. We even have a new darling of the social justice crowd named Kai Ashante Wilson starting a recent Tor story with “1955. Emmett Till.” The difference there is that Wilson’s story freezes immorality forever in a race rather than the lessons of Bradbury, Serling and Lee which hated racism rather than whites and war rather than the Japanese. As everyone now knows, these modern too little, too late anti-white racial revenge fantasies powered by lies about mid-century writers like Serling and Bradbury being racist, sexists are a sure-fire award draw today; the Nebula Award-nominated “Wakulla Springs” is a case in point.

The further irony is that had The Twilight Zone or the Golden Age of SF used affirmative action writers powered by a bizarre lesbian version of Scientology rather than talent, you never would’ve heard of either due to sheer boredom, as is the case today, where noble revenge writer Rachel Swirsky couldn’t even finish half the stories on her Hugo recommended reading list because they are progressive sleeping pills from a by now familiar line-up of FemSoc drivel. Considering the apparent anger behind the decision involving Mr. Cole rather than a quiet assessment of Mr. Cole’s market, it seems the moonshine Dogpatch redneckery of the ’50s is now the gender and genre-bending blue-haired, ring-nosery of the 21st century.

The last fold of the smothering blanket of satire the PC always deliver is that after Serling’s failed attempts to showcase Till, he created The Twilight Zone in 1959, where SFF provided a ready-made medium to disguise parables about bigotry and hide from corporate interference. I can see this is a thing we’re going to have to do all over again.

“‘Repent, Straight White Man,’ said the Genderqueer Man” in a story from the exciting new Kickstarter anthology, Boring Segregated Visions Destroy Dangerous Visions. SocJus like to pretend they use the word “Destory” in funny, ha-ha, irony, but they don’t. They have destroyed SFF in a space of only 5 years by throwing pure shit written by graceless, bigoted, sociopaths at us and calling it “social justice.”

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jic
3 months 15 days ago

“They have destroyed SFF in a space of only 5 years by throwing pure shit written by graceless, bigoted, sociopaths at us and calling it ‘social justice.'”

SFF is doing just fine. They’ve destroyed mainstream SFF publishing, which ultimately hurts themselves more than anybody else.

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James May
3 months 15 days ago

That’s true, because when you throw people like N.K. Jemisin, Daniel Jose Older, John Scalzi, Kameron Hurley, Ann Leckie, Aliette de Bodard and Elizabeth Bear into a meritocracy like self-publishing they will simply disappear. Peter Hamilton’s 1.2 million word Night’s Dawn novel has more good writing and ideas than the total work of all those people put together and yet within SFWA culture it is Hamilton who disappears by reason of being indifferent to intersectional gay feminism. No one ever “told” people to like Hamilton; they just did. Stop virtue-signaling our doughty social justice warriors and their drifting adjectives, inability to manage their own novels and tin-ear for dialogue throws them into the realm of upjumped fanfic. Also, I can’t enjoy a novel simply because of some imaginary “underrepresentation” which never happened.

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Rodrick Su
3 months 15 days ago

Hamilton’s problem is that he needs a good editor that can cut down on his infodump a bit.

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Bugmaster
3 months 14 days ago

I know nothing about most of these writers, but IMO Scalzi could make it. The first two books of the Old Man’s War trilogy were great, IMO (the third one was kind of like his own Star Trek V though), and the Lock-in world is at least somewhat interesting.

Yes, Scalzi’s politics are of course insane, but he can still write quite well when he chooses to do so. In the end, that’s all that matters.

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James May
3 months 14 days ago

Scalzi made it on the mighty shoulders of K. Tempest Bradford and N.K. Jemisin. They in turn upped their profiles using Scalzi. Take that 69 away and they disappear. To find dialogue like Scalzi’s I’d have to go back to The Blind Spot by Austin Hall and Homer Eon Flint, pre-1920.

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Brian Z
3 months 13 days ago

“Scalzi made it on the mighty shoulders of K. Tempest Bradford and N.K. Jemisin. ”

Oh come on. Maybe he preaches to the choir sometimes on his blog, but that came later. His initial success was due to 1) being a good writer and 2) attaching industrially processed dead mammal flesh to indignant living mammals. He doesn’t have to be the next Gene Wolfe to write the odd book that’s quite worth reading.

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James May
3 months 10 days ago

Go look at Scalzi’s latest parrot talk about the Twitter harassment of “women and/or people in marginalized groups.” He fails to mention such people are, like the very Randy Harper he defends, feral sociopaths who light up straight white males in Twitter round-robins that go on for months or even years. Any time you hear the word “marginalized” the stink of Orwellian Newspeak has entered the room. The idea anyone as lacking in perception as Scalzi could write an SF novel worth reading is ridiculous. Go ahead and be a SF writer yourself here; extrapolate Scalzi into a future society and it is one of Marching Morons without free speech, due process, equal protection or a Constitution. That is implicit in that single post, as if we didn’t have hundreds of similar dim-witted posts and Tweets from that moron already to tell us so. Scalzi’s idea of social justice is a pitch perfect rendition of IngSoc presented in a welter of retardation and unawareness. If there is any stupider SFF author who has ever lived, I’d like to know who the hell it is.

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Synova
3 months 13 days ago

Scalzi also got seriously boosted by Instapundit before he decided that he’d just rather “those people” not read his books.

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James May
3 months 11 days ago

Pull the other one. Francis Stevens from 100 years ago is still a more innovative writer than Scalzi.

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BobtheRegisterredFool
3 months 11 days ago

Just because something isn’t innovative doesn’t mean I won’t happily read it.

1. I’m not necessarily old enough to have had access to all the old classic high quality science fiction.
2. I’ve enjoyed reading stuff that was, objectively, badly written.
3. I’ve been reading fanfic for years.
4. These days I’m mostly burnt out on Naruto and Harry Potter fanfic, and entirely satisfied with Naruto and Harry Potter canon.
5. The fanfic I have open in the other tab now is of okay quality, but probably isn’t innovative. The two source properties are also a little and very derivative.

Art and commercial success are not the same thing.

In an alternate universe where SJW activism hadn’t been the ticket to commercial Sci Fi success a) the sci fi market would be bigger, meaning more sales for even the weaker writers b) Scalzi might have written different books.

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James May
3 months 11 days ago

If you reward mediocrity, then mediocrity is what you end up with. If the readership of the old Weird Tales had rewarded someone like Scalzi instead of people like C. Ashton Smith, C.L. Moore and R.E. Howard, such smart, artful and innovative voices would’ve rightly concluded there is no audience in this genre for them and either given up or switched to a genre which did appreciate them. You could scratch one golden age of weird fiction, and it is really as simple as that. The reason Burroughs started writing is he correctly concluded he could do better than what he’d been reading in the Munsey magazines.

Had the readers given Burroughs a pass he would’ve correctly concluded they deserved what they rewarded and the guy who practically invented American SF would never have existed and therefore no Leinster and no Heinlein, no nothing. When Tor and its pre-Burroughs-era readership rewards people like Scalzi or feminist dinosaurs and stories which end with the line of a current Uncanny (now happily SFWA eligiible) story “See? I didn’t need rescuing,” then any 20 yr. old C.L. Moore, Peter Hamilton, Burroughs or Howard out there today is going to be frightened off, rightly concluding there is no place for them in Dogpatch County’s Feministville zipcode of gender rednecks.

In the timeframe 1959-67 there were so many great SFF writers all writing at the same time one could barely keep up with them. Today there is nothing like that. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out why. Drape WisCon SFF and its cadre of shit writers over WW I-era American magazines and the genre dies right there.

Had fanfic been widely and easily available in the early ’60s there would’ve been no reason to read it. The reason people read it today is because two things are true: fanfic can compete with the Hugo and Nebula nominees today and there are far more people who couldn’t and wouldn’t reward the difference anyway even were that not true. Were Niven to publish his Known Space shorts or Simmons his Hyperion work today, they would pass by unnoticed. With the current unwelcome sign hanging from the SFWA, why would they even try? There is no connoisseurship of fans, editors and writers today which created 1912-70. However I can steer you towards some lesbian dinosaur fic one would’ve once needed a team of ’60s Mad Magazine writers to produce with the challenge of writing the single most awful parody of an SFF story they could.

The current editor of the Magazine of F&SF once wrote men don’t put women in epic fantasy as opposed to dragons because perhaps men don’t hate dragons. Put that male feminist fool in charge of F&SF when it started in 1949 and the mag folds in about a year. Scalzi and his team of destroyers are just that, and Tor is the anti-Munsey era.

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Reziac
3 months 9 days ago

I found _Old Man’s War_ entertaining, the 2nd book in the series so-so (starting to feel recycled), and the 3rd boring to the point that I swore off reading any further Scalzi. And this was before any of the Kerfluffle, so no blame there.

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Jim
3 months 11 days ago

Scalzi can occasionally write an entertaining story, but only by embracing the stereotypical protagonists he falsely accuses others of using.

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Christopher M. Chupik
3 months 15 days ago

Science-Fiction will survive these idiots. Their power is not nearly as great as they would have us believe.

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James May
3 months 14 days ago

The 3 early ’70s SF Hall of Fame anthologies administered by the SFWA were the benchmark of excellence. 44 of the 48 stories are clustered over a 16 year period.

1938 2 – 1940 1 – 1941 3 – 1942 2 – 1943 1 – 1944 2 – 1945 1 – 1946 1 – 1947 2 – 1948 4 – 1949 1 – 1950 3 – 1951 3 – 1952 4 – 1953 3 – 1954 3 – 1955 1 – 1957 1 – 1958 1 – 1959 1 – 1960 1 – 1961 1 – 1962 1 – 1963 1

Contrary to what our new fake “feminism” says, none of those stories are about manly men doing manly things or satirically making fun of “PoC” or colonizing other planets. They are more often than not delicate, nuanced stories of alien mazes, weapon shops and cold-blooded time traveling tourists.

Today the SFWA refuses to allow the presence of Frank Frazetta. Its president is a lesbian feminist and former women’s studies teacher. Come awards time, they are shoving lesbian feminist stories with little to no fantastic element up Yankee Doodle’s keester and calling it “macaroni.” The SFWA today is nothing more than a welfare and affirmative action bureau living off the fumes of the past and reputations of people they reject as artists and as human beings.

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Captain Comic
3 months 16 days ago

I posted a bit over at Sarah’s before I found out about this.

I ran across a quote from filmmaker Joel Coen via a link from Ace of Spades HQ on the subject of “needing” minority/gender/sexuality balance:

He continued: “You don’t sit down and write a story and say, ‘I’m going to write a story that involves four black people, three Jews, and a dog,’—right? That’s not how stories get written. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand anything about how stories get written and you don’t realize that the question you’re asking is idiotic.”

I…I’ve always enjoyed the Coen Brothers’ work, but right now, they’re two of my favorite human beings.

More at: http://freebeacon.com/blog/coen-bros-destroy-complaints-about-diversity-in-their-films/

Puppy kickers? THAT’S WHAT THE SP CAMPAIGN IS TALKING ABOUT!

And Mr. Cole is sitting in the top two hundred of Kindle paid.

For a self published, “offensie” novel.

We should all be so hurt by our P(in)C…

And yes, I did click to give him my thirty or forty cents…

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Luke
3 months 16 days ago

If he was just causing a stink to make money, he’d have priced the book higher.
It’s a bargain, by a good author, and by purchasing it you get to tell all the right people to go to hell.

What’s not to love?

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[…] Larry Correia naturally has thoughts on the matter: Left Wing Bias in Publishing: Your Wrongthink Will Be Punished! […]

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[…] YOUR BEST SHOCKED FACE ON: Left Wing Bias in Publishing: Your Wrongthink Will Be Punished!  Shocked, I tel you.  SO […]

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David
3 months 16 days ago

Ungoodthink, old boy. It’s Room 101 for you.

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Jay Currie
3 months 16 days ago

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Cyberpunk
#1 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Cyberpunk
#3 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Technothrillers

It will be fun to watch Nick blow up big. His editor? Well his editor will be looking for another job fairly soon.

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[…] UPDATE: Larry Correia’s take on the sit­u­a­tion is longer and far more enter­tain­ing than mine. […]

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baldilocks
3 months 16 days ago

Even my pulp publisher didn’t like the one line I put in a character’s mouth about Islam.

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richard mcenroe
3 months 16 days ago

Bought it. Then looked at his list and bought more.

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JSchuler
3 months 16 days ago

“In this case, unacceptable was a small idea that cast a bit of liberal orthodoxy in a negative light.

And this wasn’t a message book. This wasn’t a big recurring theme. This wasn’t a preachy, beat you over the head with Special Topic X message of the day (note, all that stuff is perfectly cool with mainstream publishing when it is left wing), ”

I read Ctrl+Alt+Revolt, and I have to say, the above isn’t true.

Oh, it’s not preachy about abortion. That’s a one-and-done thing in the first chapter. However, the book does take the piss out of SJWs at every turn. It’s actually a big plot point that the precious little darlings take control of all levers of power (There’s actually a Department of Social Justice) found human history offensive, recast it, and then made sure everyone forgot all the parts inconvenient to their ideology.

And then there are the constant jabs at SJWs and their positions that are there just because why not?

The book is fun. I like the voice, I enjoy the action sequences and the characters. But, politics are definitely there, to the point where I find it difficult to believe that it was only the abortion issue the publisher found “problematic.” UNLESS Soda Pop Soldier had the same politics.

So, I’ll be picking that book up and reading through that soonish. It’s possible that, buried in the overreaction, the publisher has a point: if Soda Pop Soldier was apolitical, coming out and beating people over the head with politics in the prequel is a dick move, regardless of the politics involved. It could well have alienated half of the readership. If, however, Soda Pop Soldier has the exact same attitude, then HarperCollins can suck it.

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Bibliotheca Servare
3 months 15 days ago

IMO Harper Collins can suck it either way. “Half the audience” is a delusional, ridiculous overstatement.

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JSchuler
3 months 15 days ago

It could actually be an understatement. It doesn’t mean that half the audience agrees with SJWism. It just means half the audience would rather not have politics thrown at them on every page. Which, would be a lovely thought for publishers to keep in mind if it applied equally to all forms of politics, the allowed politics having pre-alienated more than half of potential buyers from the market entirely.

So, not a delusional or ridiculous statement at all, but a self-unaware statement.

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BobtheRegisterredFool
3 months 15 days ago

He couldn’t have published Ctl+Alt+Revolt immediately. At the least, he would have had to get cover art, and check out his legal options. That would include some time for editing. If as others said this thread, he would’ve needed to remove references to Soda Pop Soldier, he may have found adding some F Us thematically appropriate.

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JSchuler
3 months 15 days ago

That’s a good point. The more gratuitous shellacking’s may have been added later. Take the “publicity stunt” angle and turn it in on itself; if you’re going to say FU to the publisher, might as well tailor the piece to appeal the people willing to shout it with you.

I don’t think he did much to edit out the Soda Pop Soldier related material, because the fictional WonderSoft company is prominent in both. And as he directly references Donkey Kong and Zork and a hundred other trademarked properties throughout the story, I don’t think he’d get in trouble for re-using properties from his HC books.

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James May
3 months 15 days ago

Are you claiming George Orwell was an anti-SJW Men’s Rights activist?

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Synova
3 months 13 days ago

He wasn’t?

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Kristophr
3 months 12 days ago

George Orwell was an ex-socialist who figured out reality when a Stalinist goon tried to execute him during the Spanish civil war for being politically incorrect.

Taking a bullet in the head tends to make you rethink your executioner’s political views.

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GMP
3 months 16 days ago

I just bought three of Nick’s books from Amazon. Feels good to stick it to the man…

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xavier
3 months 16 days ago

Larry,

There another factor we shouldn’t overlook: the rampant neptism/clientalism. A lot of those kids get their jobs because mom,dad, aunt,uncle, cousin or classmate give them the job.
And since contemporary univerities no longer teach or enourage the great conversation, the editors extend their cozy comfy safe space tothe workplace . And they make the peons’ life a hassle because we live in the real world with its untamed roughness that apalls their delicate sensibilities

xavier

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Francis W. Porretto
3 months 16 days ago

Mr. Cole has done writers and readers a great favor by disclosing this story. But as important as the details of the story is the effect that this form of “censorship” (I still dislike the word as applied to the actions of market participants, but what the hell) is having upon the offerings that reach readers. We’re learning, slowly but steadily, that for variety and imagination, we should look first to indie writers. The biases and predilections of Pub World have “progressively” choked those virtues out of our preferred genres.

Yes, there’s still a great deal of crap issued by indie writers. However, wading through it, and past it has become easier and cheaper, and is likely to improve still further as word gets around. Things are looking up — and stories such as Nick Cole’s are a great aid toward that end.

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snelson134
3 months 16 days ago

Francis, the thing that gives these so-called “private” individuals their power is that there is a legal system and dozens of government bureaucracies to encourage and magnify their every complaint. For example, does anyone think that Brandon Eich would have been fired if the government hadn’t given the SJWs the tools to discover his involvement via campaign finance laws, followed by the ability to use various laws to claim his employer was encouraging a “hostile environment” if they didn’t get rid of him?

What about the ability to claim “harrassment”, “stalking”, etc. against anyone who disagrees with them, then call the cops?

In that legal climate established by government, is anything private?

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Jake Freivald
3 months 16 days ago

It normally cracks me up when those who arrogate to writing about alien mindsets can’t understand their fellow humans. In this case, the editor can’t handle the mere idea of an alien/AI mindset. In SF! The editor should try to find a job at the Nation, Salon, or HuffPo.

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rjschwaz
3 months 16 days ago

I love the fact that it’s the villains rational that is unacceptable to the editors. Villains trying to kill all humanity, but they have bad thoughts on abortion and can’t have anyone have bad thoughts on abortion lest a reader not understand that abortion is double-not-good.

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Luke
3 months 16 days ago

“censorship: the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts.”

You go through all that trouble and them simply ignore the definition of “officially”, as if it doesn’t matter.

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Mike Morgan
3 months 15 days ago

So the real monsters aren’t vampires, demons, trolls, or ventriloquists, they’re lefty publishers? Okay, I’ll buy that. In fact, you might add an episode and name one of the victims Mike Morgan…

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Mike
3 months 15 days ago

Without regard for my distaste for liberal bias in the media, you’ve yet to steer me wrong on a book recommendation. Bought.

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CaptDMO
3 months 15 days ago

Wow! Operation Choke Point sure gets around, doesn’t it?

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Christopher M. Chupik
3 months 15 days ago

Slightly OT, but the Hugo Assterisk has made a comeback:

https://twitter.com/LoopdiLou/status/697262017569095681

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[…] for himself and his work but for his readers. Mr. Cole has written about his experience as have Larry Corriea and Michael Bunker. I highly recommend you check out their […]

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Jeff Duntemann
3 months 15 days ago

This is getting worse, but it’s not new, and it’s not limited to fiction. 25 years ago, an editor at John Wiley & Sons tried to delete the word “Christmas” from a metaphor I was spinning about programming in a tech book: “Facing the task of writing an assembly language program brings to mind images of Christmas morning: You’ve spilled 1,567 small metal parts out of a large box marked Land Shark Hyperbike (some assembly required )…”

I screamed bloody murder, and went up the org chart until I found someone sane enough to understand that if they deleted that word they would never get another book from me again. They caved. And egad, the project manager apologized. I wonder if it was the last time that ever happened.

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SteveF
3 months 13 days ago

When a fresh-outa-school editor at a programming magazine changed all “he” to “he or she” and thereby changed Donald Knuth to a he-she, I complained all the way up to the mag’s editor-in-chief. She expressed full faith in the junior editor and apparently didn’t look into the substance of that or any of my other complaints. That was the last article they got from me.

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Bill
3 months 15 days ago

The situation does indeed suck. But I still disagree with the word “censor”. The publisher did not censor the author. They simply refused to publish the book. They made a business decision – as misguided as it might have been. They didn’t prevent the author from writing the book. They didn’t prevent the author from selling the book elsewhere – which he is now doing through Amazon. Bad analogy -> when a publisher agrees to publish a book, they’re really buying that book from the author. It’s really only the way payment is made that makes it unique (paid per resold copy). Can we extend this logic to bad comparisons? If I choose -not- to buy a car from GM, am I censoring GM? They’re still free to sell their cars to others.

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Richard McEnroe
3 months 11 days ago

This was not a business decision. The business decision was, this guy made us money, let’s do it again. This was a 100% political decision, and worse, it was an arbitrary personal political decision unless this publisher has an openly-available set of acceptable standards of which it’s writers are previously apprised.

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James May
3 months 11 days ago

One does not cut off contact and drop someone over a marketing decision. You talk to them. This was in fact censorship.

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Guess
3 months 15 days ago

If this book was banned wouldn’t it be blocked from publication entirely? He said that he was on the release schedule. Doesn’t this mean that Harper/Collins already bought the book? Did I miss something in the blog, but I don’t see a mention of ‘returning the advance’ to get rights to the book back. If not, then doesn’t Harper/Collins own the rights to it release it? If they have not paid him an advance, then Harper/Collins had not bought the book yet right so that is more of a rejection cause I don’t like your conservative values than a ‘ban’.

R. Scott Bakkers been sitting on his book for years now without any information on when they will publish it. I have not read the series, but have heard it is very good. This is likely killing the guys sales. Who knows there reasons for doing it. Its not related to politics.

http://thewertzone.blogspot.com/2015/06/scott-bakkers-unholy-consult-delayed.html

Can someone tell me if I am missing something about how Rights work in publishing. If you sign a contract and are paid an advance, your publisher can sit on the book they bought and not publish for a long period of time (see Bakker) and then block you from selling it independently. If not, Bakker probably would have his book on Amazon as well.

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JSchuler
3 months 15 days ago

It’s interesting to look at the description for Ctrl Alt Revolt and realize what is missing: any mention of Soda Pop Soldier, the book this was supposed to be a prequel for. Methinks that, if the series is under contract with HarperCollins, he’s treating it as if the books take place in separate universes in order to circumvent the publisher.

Needless to say, this is much easier to pull off for a prequel than it is for the last book in a series.

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richard mcenroe
3 months 15 days ago

Virago, a “women’s imprint” was formed so that women would have a “unique space” for their “unique voice”. They published a novel, praising it to the skies for its unique womanly insights, perspective and style.

Turned out it was written by a middle-aged white male preacher.

When he came out, not only did they pull the book from circulation, they have to this day not reverted the rights to the author, to my knowledge.

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James May
3 months 15 days ago

Let me tell you a funny story. Based on recent research I’ve done, it appears a single daffy 1969 SF novel written by a lesbian theorist named Monique Wittig was so influential to feminist queer theory that without it there is no Ancillary Justice. If that’s true, that means Wittig is the L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology of the intersectional gay feminism you see in SFF today. What’s more fitting than a man-hating cult of anti-science and fake history completely made up out of some delusional woman’s head coming from an SF novel? And more than any other single man, John Scalzi is the one who opened the doors for and gave credibility to this cult to flood into SFF by way of the SFWA. With an increased public profile comes increased scrutiny. When Eric von Daniken’s best-selling Chariots of the Gods series about aliens having visited the Earth became increasingly popular, PBS’s Nova TV show decided to unwrap von Daniken, revealing him as a fraud. If any influential journalist ever decides to similarly unwrap this cult in SFF and in fraudulent gender studies classes across the nation, you’re going to see a lot of egg on a lot of faces. Do I really have to point that out with morons like Laurie Penny claiming heterosexuality was invented?

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Bugmaster
3 months 15 days ago

What was the name of that lesbian novel, out of curiosity ? I mean, was it any good ? That’s all that matters, at the end of the day, whether the story is good or not.

Also… heterosexuality was invented ? Who invented it, Chuck Norris ? That’s just… bizarre.

I guess you could make a softer claim, and say that the concept of sexuality as part of one’s identity was invented recently; before then, people (at least, in some societies) just treated it as a preference. Today, if you prefer orange juice to grape juice, you don’t call yourself an “orangist”, after all.

But this is Laurie Penny, so I have a feeling that would be too mundane a claim for her…

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James May
3 months 15 days ago

It’s a French novel titled Les Guerilleres. It’s full meaning in the way Wittig played with words is lost in translation to English since English is not a gendered language in the same sense French is. We have no masculine/feminine for the word “they.” Wittig features prominently in the most influential book about lesbian theory ever written, Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble. To say the “feminism” you see in SFF today is Butlerian is an understatement.

And no, Penny is not talking about any recent construct. The theory is that heterosexuality was literally created by men at some unknown time in pre-history and became codified and compulsory in the same way law is. In this theory heterosexuality is an event, an ideology, a compulsory performance, and therefore one which can be deconstructed or “cured.” Even Anita Sarkeesian directly borrows a Butlerian term in a Tweet saying “Masculinity is a socially constructed and performed gender identity.” That’s why this form of lesbian feminism found in Butler and in SFF is sometimes referred to as “performative feminism.” To say it is wacky is also an understatement. It is built almost entirely on irrational suspicions of men, a paranoia of heterosexuality and with the addition of the racial “intersectional” element, the same irrational suspicions of any move white people make.

The true history of SFF is as simple as saying Golf Digest doesn’t market itself to race car fans. Since the history of SFF was largely formed in magazines, its history is one of sales figures, ad dollars and reading tastes. No one was underrepresented, devalued or marginalized. No one was NOT published, an Orwellian term if there ever was one. It is irrational and graceless sociopaths who have sold that con game to naive do-gooders.

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Bugmaster
3 months 15 days ago

Wait, so how did humans reproduce before heterosexuality was invented ? By budding, like sea sponges ?

To be fair, heterosexuality and masculinity are different things (though obviously related ones). Some aspects of what we consider “masculine”, such as a preference for the color blue vs. pink, are definitely socially constructed; feminists often claim that many other aspects, such as upper body strength and a preference for risk-taking are socially constructed as well. These claims are at least defensible — by which I mean not that they are true, but that they at least make some sort of sense. But that is not the case here…

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TRX
3 months 15 days ago

The Queer Patriarchy had to assert its oppression of wymyn by rape, of course.

Dude, you’re falling behind in your Narrative… that was a free throw and you missed it!

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Christopher M. Chupik
3 months 15 days ago

“Wait, so how did humans reproduce before heterosexuality was invented?”

Your question is sexist and homophobic. 😉

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SteveW
3 months 14 days ago

Ever feel like we’re living in a mirror version of Tiptree’s SCREWFLY SOLUTION?

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James May
3 months 14 days ago

How about this for a Tiptree title: “The Breasts Women Don’t See, Except on Other Women.” There’s your “feminist” cult of anthropology lodged in our college systems which cries about “anti-science.”

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James May
3 months 14 days ago

Here’s some fun madness from the woman Hillary Clinton took with her to China when Bill was Prez: “The Lesbian threatens the ideology of male supremacy by destroying the lie about female inferiority, weakness, passivity, and by denying women’s ‘innate’ need for men. Lesbians literally do not need men (even for procreation if the science of cloning is developed).”

“The first division of labor, in pre-history, was based on sex: men hunted, women built the villages, took care of children, and farmed. Women collectively controlled the land, language, culture, and the communities. Men were able to conquer women with the weapons that they developed for hunting when it became clear that women were leading a more stable, peaceful, and desirable existence. We do not know exactly how this conquest took place, but it is clear that the original imperialism was male over female: the male claiming the female body and her service as his territory (or property).”

That’s lesbian feminist Charlotte Bunch in 1972, the Founding Director (1989) and as of 2014 Senior Scholar, at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University Member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, selected by President Bill Clinton as a recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights

There is no excuse for writing stuff that insane, and there is certainly no excuse for Rutgers or the Clintons to give such nuts credibility.

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BobtheRegisterredFool
3 months 14 days ago

No legitimate excuse. Bill did it as a pay off to the feminists for ignoring his rape habit.

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BobtheRegisterredFool
3 months 14 days ago

In fairness, some of the ‘women are for babies, boys are for fun’ ancient Greeks claimed to think that women weren’t actually that important for reproduction. Their Golden Age didn’t have any women or sexual reproduction, only men springing from the Earth. This seems absurd to us, but had some compatibility with one of their theories. See the birth of, I want to say, Hermeaphrodite.

‘Heterosexuality is a construct’ makes sense if the world is mystical and the past a fantasy setting.

Of course, one could just as easily claim that women are aliens from Mu Musphae, and that they’ve usurped the natural order of the world.

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Bugmaster
3 months 14 days ago

Hey, don’t knock the “mono-gender colony” trope, it can be fun when it’s written well. John Varley made it work in his Titan trilogy (by using the classic feminist lesbians), and Lois McMaster Bujold was able to reverse the trope successfully in Ethan of Athos, just to name a few examples.

Of course, “when written well” is kind of the key feature here…

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James May
3 months 13 days ago

I actually liked the Titan trilogy. At least, enough to read it twice. He wrote it with such conviction and energy it’s hard not to get drawn into it. It was almost like he was writing “Okay, you guys landed on Ringworld and then you bored me,” which is how I kinda felt about Ringworld. There’s a lot of weird stuff in Titan but I never felt he was on a pedestal preaching to end the gender binary or what pricks straight white men are.

Varley’s short story “Air Raid” is a classic. Didn’t like the novelization of it and the movie is even worse.

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Feather Blade
3 months 12 days ago

See the birth of, I want to say, Hermeaphrodite.

IIRC Hermaphroditus was the son of Hermes and Aphrodite, and a perfectly normal godling before he fell into a cursed spring.

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BobtheRegisterredFool
3 months 11 days ago

Might have been Hermes and Aphrodite. Version I recall is the guy wanted to have intercourse with the girl. He tried force, she resisted, and the seed ended up on her thigh. Disgusted, she wiped it off, and it fell to the ground, where it germinated into a baby boy.

IIRC, that is how the golden age worked. Minus the girl.

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Shadowdancer
3 months 11 days ago

And thus, we now have Ranma 1/2

*RUNS AWAY!*

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BobtheRegisterredFool
3 months 14 days ago

Also, Parthenogenesis.

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Feather Blade
3 months 12 days ago

Some aspects of what we consider “masculine”, such as a preference for the color blue vs. pink, are definitely socially constructed;

I like that one, particularly since, at least according to rumour, it was constructed within living memory.

But really… to claim that heterosexuality was constructed… by gay men, in order to oppress women…. That takes the crazy cake.

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Reziac
3 months 9 days ago

Actually, stuff like gendered color preferences may derive from differences in how men and women see color, and the relative percentages with some degree of color blindness.

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CR Williams
3 months 14 days ago

So this whole thing could be called…

(Yes, I dare to say it.)

…the Butlerian Jihad?

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richard mcenroe
3 months 14 days ago

A computer that operated like a woman would HAVE to be destroyed. I mean, Y2K every 28 days?

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Anonymous Coward
3 months 14 days ago

The book was ‘Down the Road, Worlds Away’ by Toby Forward (writing under the pseudonym Rahila Khan). Not only was it assumed that this book was the authentic voice of a woman, but a Muslim immigrant of Pakistani origin living in the UK. It appears to be out of print, with rights still owned by Virago. Hilarious.

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elwood p. dowd
3 months 14 days ago

I read the first book and half the second in Baker’s series. Very solid world building, especially WRT the underlying mythology and use of magic, but there seemed to be some sort of rape every seventh page or so. I usually have a pretty strong stomach for stuff like that but I actually noped out of the series over the sexual content. Not only was it graphic, it was pointless to the plot, at least from where I’m sitting. Wouldn’t surprise me if they finally told him to tone it down and he refused.

And as to advances, the first publisher to purchase Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho actually refused to publish it, AFTER paying him $300,000 (in 1990 dollars, not sure what that would be today). He found another publisher AND kept the advance.

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Rodrick Su
3 months 15 days ago

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Godel Fishbreath
3 months 15 days ago

There is a real world worry that things could go very wrong with the robot revolution.
http://waitbutwhy.com/…/artificial-intelligence...
See the other article as well.
I do not want to belittle the problems this writer faced, nor the stated bias faced. But there are much more scary reasons for a robot revolt.
And it is much more likely. We could all die as grey goo.
http://waitbutwhy.com/…/artificial-intelligence...
That chapter is likely not as informed as it could have been, but likely good for fiction.

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Jens
3 months 15 days ago

After reading that first chapter and the reasoning behind it I was reminded of something that happened to me ages ago: a young woman who was attracted to me while still living with somebody else (which I learned from a mutual acquaintance after a few weeks) – if she was ready to ditch him for me that quickly, how long would it take her to ditch me for the next guy? Luckily that question never came up because I cooled off rather quickly after finding out she was in a relationship.

In the original context I can see that the reasoning is sound and makes for a better explanation as to why AIs would actively try to exterminate humans than any other in other works of fiction I’ve read/watched before.

On the topic of abortions – I still think they should be legal, provided certain criteria are met (serious medical and/or psychological reasons, rape victim,…), but not on a whim.

This video sums up my thoughts quite nicely:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Uj5T6MLwPY

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Feather Blade
3 months 12 days ago

provided certain criteria are met (serious medical and/or psychological reasons, rape victim,…

How cruel do you have to be to kill a child for its parent’s wrongdoing?

There is nothing that says a woman should have to raise a child fathered on her through an act of violence, or if her own mental state would prohibit it, but there’s no reason to kill the kid.

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Robin Munn
3 months 12 days ago

Bingo, bingo, bingo.

If a woman is raped and gets pregnant as a result, she should not have to pay a dime for her hospital bills for birth, or the adoption of the child if she chooses to give him/her up for adoption. (I believe the latter is already the case: the adoptive parents pay everything, and the parent(s) giving up the child for adoption don’t have to pay a dime. If it isn’t, it should be.) If the rapist is caught, paying for his victim’s hospital bills should be part of his punishment. If he isn’t, the state should take up the burden, unless a private charity is willing to volunteer the cash.

To help prevent the many, MANY abuses that would no doubt follow from the above suggestion, though, I would say that to qualify for the free hospital birthing assistance, the woman would have to have reported the rape within a certain period of time after the rape allegedly happened. Say, within two weeks after the event. Otherwise you’d get a lot of nine-month pregnant women claiming “I was raped nine months ago, where’s my free hospital stay?”

But under NO circumstances does the father’s crime justify killing the child. That’s just evil.

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Arathian
3 months 15 days ago

I know this isn’t really the place, but I was reading monster hunter alpha and it occurred to me…. Larry did you base Harbinger off of Wolverine? They seem to have quite a bit in common,

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James May
3 months 15 days ago

As has been pointed out, an AI satirically taking things literally is baked into our genre. On the old Get Smart comedy TV spy show the robot Hymie would shoot a bare light bulb when asked to “kill the light.” We’ve gotten to the point where propaganda actually trumps genre elements themselves. What are rocket ships compared to “representation,” “diversity,” and “agency”? If you’re for gun control, maybe no Hymie shooting lights. SFF becomes toothless or even SFF-less. Mr. Spock’s logical observations become censored logic, which is the best logic of all. This new “progressive” movement has no interest in satire; they can’t use it and fear its truth. What’s Ann Leckie’s “cis white dudes” if one says “homo black broads”? Suddenly the progressively noble look an awful lot like the racist genderphobic KKK they are.

What’s a more obvious expression of the triumph of the “progressive” than the novel Hild being nominated for a Nebula though it had no fantastic elements whatsoever? What it did have which trumps SF and F to this bizarre “progressive” ideology is that most wonderful of all things, an activist lesbian author and a bi-sexual lead character who had “agency” and “representation.”

The other side of this coin then becomes not only the destruction and subversion of our genre in the name of noble causes, but the use of an affirmative action movement which acts to further degrade art. Each and every social justice crusader will deny AA exists even as they are Tweeting we should read more queer, Afrofuturist and disabled sometimes SFF-less SFF. A woman who was active in the witchhunt against Resnick and Malzberg at the SFWA has just released an expanded version of The Bechdel Test she’ll use to determine her Hugo noms. Though she uses neutral terms, you can bet it will be for whites, men and heterosexuals only, as are their “harassment” policies and insane “writing the Other” workshops.

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Chuck Wingo
3 months 15 days ago

I just bought the book, but in doing so I was left with a question. The Amazon page gave me three options: buy the paperback, buy the Kindle version, or get the Kindle version free as part of Kindle Unlimited.
I paid for the Kindle version, but it left me wondering how well authors are paid for books “checked out” through Kindle Unlimited. I heard from an occasionally reliable source that they’re actually better off financially if the book is checked out, but I’d like to know for sure. Does anybody know?
I’m asking in part from sheer curiosity, but I also want to make sure that any author I like GETS PAID.

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mark
3 months 11 days ago

Looks like KU is better.

http://madgeniusclub.com/2016/02/14/editors-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/#comments

Look for comment by C.J. Carella about halfway down.

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Brian McGoldrick
3 months 11 days ago

Amazon gives the per checkout payouts in the KDP newsletters iirc. I know I look at it periodically, and I think that is where I see it. Usually, the amount is somewhere in the low to mid $2 and change range per checkout. So it’s actually not bad.

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[…] by Wombat-socho Readers of Instapundit and Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter Nation blog (which should be most of you, I would think) are already aware of Nick Cole’s very public […]

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James Worrad
3 months 14 days ago

Well I’m a UK lefty and, if Cole’s story is the whole story, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. No, it’s not censorship but what it is is a disregard for the intelligence of the common reader. There’s a coarsening of thought in SF now, one that exists in both left and right (The two probably feed one another). I don’t read to be told what I already believe. Occasionally I want to be genuinely outraged and offended.
And, left/right aside, If this trend carries on the real victims will be transgressive authors. And, boy, do we need them. JG Ballard’s brutal concrete period (Crash, High-Rise etc) wouldn’t have made it past that editor. And the shame there is Ballard is an extremely moral author at heart. The most moral authors are comfortable depicting the most immoral scenes and darkest thoughts precisely because they’re moral. It’s the authors who claim morality and never truly explore it you have to be careful of.

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gmmay
3 months 14 days ago

What examples could you provide of a coarsening of thought on the right? Before you provide that, perhaps you could explain what you think “the right” is.

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James May
3 months 14 days ago

It isn’t quite as simple as dismissing this as “both sides.” If I’m thinking of this purely in terms of principle – which is ironically when the “Spock’s Eyes” SF trope of the unemotional AI unimpressed with cultural markers comes into play – then in order to arrive at the equivalent of some provisional far Right lunatic fringe of supremacist bigots and anti-science religious cultists, I have only to come to the lunatic mainstream of supremacist bigots and anti-science religious cultists today lodged in the heart of SFF fandom. To whatever extent there is a fringe Right in SFF, it is outnumbered by that cultist “SJW” center by at least several hundred times, since I have never once seen anyone race-censoring “PoC” in reviews, making male, heterosexual or whites-only anthologies or awards, having whites-only rooms and dinners or indulging in a comprehensive academically approved ideology which maintains women hate men.

A typical principled mid-century SF writer (again ironically dismissed today as a sexist, racist) would’ve seen and made those comparisons right off the bat, and they did. (For those who can’t, we still have this antiquated umpire called “equal protection” to resort to.) The entire point was to throw out cultural markers in order to see through to the heart of a thing. Doing that is the difference between speculative humanist and classic message fiction which ultimately ties us together as human beings for good or ill based on age-old principles, and propagandistic, provincial, bigoted, identity-laden message fiction which emphasizes our differences based on race and sex.

At the end of the day is the question of who is willing and even eager to discuss, debate and defend their ideas, and it’s perfectly obvious which “side” that is in the SFF community. I was banned my first day in a Tor comments section for nothing more than pointing out it is racial incitement and supremacist bigotry to imagine a tacit conspiracy on both sides of the Atlantic over 100 years by white men to maintain their power, privilege and centrality in epic fiction, which is what Liz Bourke did with help of an N.K. Jemisin quote. Why in the world would I have to put the word “Jew” in there to make that clear, or point out “homo black broad” is the other