Fisking the Guardian's Village Idiot Again

Let me cut right to the chase. Damien Walter is a liar.

Don’t worry, I’ll go through the whole thing, but let’s get the important stuff out of the way for the TL/DR crowd.

In another incredibly ignorant yet smug article from the Guardian Damien said the following:

 Baen’s chief editor Toni Weisskopf went so far as to issue a diatribe against any and all sci-fi that did not pander to this conservative agenda.

Cite it, Damien. Cite where Toni Weisskopf ever said that. If you can’t provide a cite of where she said that, then you are a liar and you should issue a retraction and an apology.

 Here, let me help you. Here is Toni’s “diatribe”. People can read it and judge for themselves.

So where is the part about pandering to a conservative agenda?

Damien can’t quote it, because it only exists in his head.

The problem isn’t just that Damien is a liar, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that he is also extremely lazy (I suppose that is to be expected from somebody who is collecting “book welfare” from the state). Rather than find a real quote from Toni he simply took John Scalzi’s version of what Toni said and used it instead. The problem there is that Scalzi’s post misconstruing Toni’s essay was obvious bullshit.  

Damien has done the same thing with me twice now, where he “quoted” things I never said. Instead of using my own words against me, he used Jim Hines’ version of what I said instead. And because Damien is lazy and a liar, when he got called on it he then took to Twitter and asked his followers to go through everything I’d ever written to find examples of racism, homophobia, or misogyny after he’d already made up the quotes. Of course, the crowd sourced witch hunt came up with nothing.

Because basically Damien sucks at everything.

If Damien wasn’t so incredibly lazy when it came to building straw versions of his ideological opponents a cursory Google search would have shown why that particular accusation against Toni Weisskopf is nonsense. It must be kind of hard to pander to a conservative agenda when she publishes authors from all over the political spectrum. 

In her supposedly conservative diatribe she mentions the fan community of 1632, which was started by Eric Flint, who is a card carrying communist. And Eric isn’t some coffee shop wannabe in a beret, typing on his iMac, sipping a latte, and trying to impress stupid chicks by quoting Marx.  He was a labor union organizer who went down to Alabama to try and get the steel workers to strike in the days where that sort of thing could get you beaten to death. I disagree with damned near everything Eric Flint believes in, but I respect the man for arguing and debating his beliefs. Eric Flint may be a Trotskyite, but he isn’t a mealy mouthed liar like Damien.

Yet Eric Flint is one of Baen’s most prolific and successful authors. You know, if Toni actually only cared about pandering to a conservative agenda that doesn’t really explain why she publishes authors I know are politically left like Mercedes Lackey, Stoney Compton, Sharon Lee, or Steve Miller. I think Sharon blocked me on Facebook after a discussion about abortion.  If I remember right Lois Bujold is a democrat. Baen just picked up a David Coe series, and David is a democrat (and great guy and excellent author).  Elizabeth Moon—despite blowing WisCon’s mind by saying maybe, just maybe militant Islamists are telling the truth when they say they want to kill us—is a hard core feminist. 

Since we’re talking about Baen mil-SF it is kind of hard to ignore David Drake, who is one of the big dogs of the genre, and newsflash, Damien, he’s not exactly a right winger.

I have no idea what the politics are of Jody Lynn Nye, Catherine Asaro, Steve White, Mark Van Name, Frank Chadwick, Robert Conroy, Chuck Gannon, or a whole bunch of others are because frankly it never came up.

On the other hand, Baen publishes me (International Lord of Hate), Mike Williamson (libertarian), Sarah Hoyt (libertarian), Tom Kratman (republican), Dave Freer (not sure what party actually since he doesn’t live in the US) and John Ringo (?) And seriously on the question mark. I’m not actually sure, and I’ve had some good political discussions with Ringo. He’s got way more depth to his outlook than his critics give him credit for. And we just signed Brad Torgersen (moderate republican).  And sorry, Brad, by my standards you are moderate.

Wow, look at Toni go with all that right wing pandering!  It is almost like she doesn’t care about an author’s politics, but only if they entertain their audience and sell books or something crazy like that!

Toni doesn’t pander to a conservative agenda, the only pandering involved is the pandering to fans by giving them what they want to read. Unless by “conservative” Damien actually means old fashioned values like reading should be fun then by all means, Toni continue to pander away! But to the Damiens of the world allowing any speech that dissents from proper goodthink is horrible and must be stopped at all costs. If that means libeling innocent people, then it is justified. I only wish he wasn’t so damned bad at it. 



My response is going to be longer than Damien’s original article because of Alberto Brandolini’s Bullshit Asymmetry Principle: 

 Brandolini's Law

As you can see, it has already taken 800 words to go over everything that is wrong in a single Damien Walter sentence. Damien’s bullshit is so dense that perhaps it is a good thing he’s too lazy and screwed up to actually finish a book. If such a thing were to exist it would probably create a black hole of suck and destroy the whole world. Hang on… Does anyone know if the British government is paying Damien to write a book, or to NOT write a book? If that’s the case, the British have been protecting us all from a novel of Clampsian proportions. Thank you, David Cameron! I take back all those things I said about your shitty healthcare system and the fact your per capita GDP is equivalent to Mississippi’s.

Because life is too short to go through everything that Damien gets wrong in a single article, I’ll stick to the highlights. He is in italics, I’m in bold.

Space Opera strikes up again for a new era

From Guardians of the Galaxy to Ancillary Justice, sci-fi is returning to alien worlds where distinctly earthly, political dramas play out


He starts out with a picture of Robonaut for some reason. I’ve lifted weights with Robonaut, and you sir, are no Robonaut. 


I asked Robonaut his opinion and he told me Damien Walter is an asshole.
I asked Robonaut his opinion and he told me Damien Walter is an asshole.


Science fiction is not a genre. The most successful literary tradition of the 20th century
is as impossible to neatly categorise as the alien life forms it sometimes imagines.

Actually, it is a genre according to the definition of the word genre, and more importantly it is a genre because genre exists so bookstores know where to shelve things. Damien would know this if he’d ever actually tried to pitch or sell a book.

But “sci-fi” does contain genres. The rigorous scientific speculation of Hard SF. The techno-cynicism of Cyberpunk, or its halfwit cousin Steampunk.

Fuck you. Steampunk is awesome.

The pulp fictions ofPlanetary romance and the dark visions of the sci-fi Post-Apocalypse.

Those would be sub-genres. Shit, dude, go on Amazon once in a while or something at least.

These genres flow in and out of fashion like the solar winds.

Groan. That’s not even how… Shit. Never mind.

 After years condemned to the outer darkness of secondhand bookshops, Space Opera is once again exciting the imagination of sci-fi fans.

What ignorant tripe. One recurring theme with these Damien articles is that he doesn’t actually know much about the subject he’s being paid to write about. I get the impression that Damien really hasn’t read much. He’s blissfully unaware of what is out there, what has been published, what is actually popular, and what has sold well. It wouldn’t be a big deal if he wasn’t so smug about it. I truly hope the Guardian isn’t paying Damien for these columns. I hope he’s like an intern or something.  

Space Opera hasn’t been consigned to the secondhand shops. Space Opera has been selling really well for a really long time. 

At the box office Guardians of the Galaxy has resurrected the kind of camp space adventure made popular by Flash Gordon

What about Star Wars? What about the hundreds of Star Wars tie in novels? I seem to recall that some of the bestselling novels of the last few years were from Halo and Mass Effect. Not to mention Ender’s Game was a massive continual bestseller for decades before the movie. He’ll go on to bash Baen Books, but Space Opera has been Baen’s bread and butter since the mid 1980s. Hell, Firefly was Space Opera.

 while on the printed page Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie has scooped the prestigious double honour of Hugo and Nebula awards. 

Still haven’t gotten around to reading that, but I seem to recall an article talking about how the author said she’d sold a total of 30k copies so far, so don’t make the mistake of mixing up “award winning” with “popular”  (as we’ve seen, they are not mutually exclusive, but certainly aren’t synonyms). 30k is solid midlist, especially on a first book, but it is tiny in the grand scheme of things.  

Stories of space exploration have never lacked popularity

Uh… Didn’t Damien just say they were consigned to outer darkness and used book stores… My hell, does the Guardian even edit these things?

In the early 20th century when it was still possible to think space might be crowded with alien civilisations, stories like EE “Doc” Smith‘s Lensman series were immensely popular. But as we probed the reality of outer space we found only infinities of inert matter and a barren solar system.

Meanwhile, the much maligned Baen Books is publishing books by actual NASA rocket scientist Les Johnson that make space exploration exciting again.

Mars was not striated with canals hiding the lost civilisation of Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter stories. There were no secret messages from the makers of the universe encoded in the transcendental number Pi and no signals game from a distant star welcoming us to the United Federation of Planets. It seemed we were alone, and the edgy possibility that space opera stories might reflect the un-glimpsed reality of outer space gave way to the blunt realisation that these were fantasies, plain and simple.

Damien is a sad little man sorely lacking in imagination. The only truly speculative thing I’ve ever seen Damien get really enthusiastic about is deviating from sexual norms. And for the record, I don’t know or care what Damien’s orientation is, though I’m willing to bet when the act is over there is a lot of weeping involved.

Far from showing us the universe, space opera reflected and amplified our earthly conflicts. Star Trek presented itself as a utopian future, but it was a utopia complete with blunt racial caricatures of America’s enemies as Soviet Klingons and inscrutable oriental Romulans

Anybody want to ruin Damien’s day and inform him what Gene Roddenberry’s politics were?

This bit is funny though, because a constant thing with the Damiens of the world is that everything you enjoyed is somehow racist. Just like how last week GenCon was racist, and the week before Guardians of the Galaxy was racist. Now you know that the show that dared to have a black female bridge crew main character in the 1960s was super racist and you’re a bad person because of it.

 Libertarian author Robert Heinlein used space opera to play out his militarist social fantasies in novels like Starship Troopers

And he also used Stranger in a Strange Land to play out a strange hippy fantasy… Sometimes I wonder if these Heinlein bashers ever actually read any of Heinlein’s stuff? Heinlein wrote everything and he did it with style. 

 Isaac Asimov‘s Foundation series made science the ultimate saviour of humankind, its only hope against the irrational forces of human nature, a fantasy Richard Dawkins would certainly appreciate.

I know when I go to browse the Barnes & Noble and pick up a new book my first worry is if a bossy atheist who looks like Hermione Granger would enjoy it.


That is kind of unnerving.
That is kind of unnerving.

Our inter-galactic future, it seemed, would repeat the brutal empires, futile warfare and oppressive social structures of the past, but on a grander scale.

He says, totally without irony, as he demands that sci-fi preach about today’s sexual issues and late 1800s economic theory.

It was resistance to this idea that inspired a very different kind of space opera. Led by British writers influenced by the earlier New Wave, the New Space Opera explicitly challenged the politics of the genre. M John Harrison’s The Centauri Device depicted the future as a hyper-capitalist nightmare, an absurdist satire of western materialism inflated to a galactic scale. Iain M Banks’s most famous creation, the Culture, is a galaxy spanning egalitarian society, the complete
opposite of the militaristic fantasies of much space opera, and a big part of the joy in reading his novels is watching the fun-loving hippies with guns overpower one brutal galactic empire after another.

How to write a Damien Walter Column in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Come up with some half assed premise.
  2. Read the synopsis of various famous books on Wikipedia.
  3. Lie about somebody who actually has readers to get traffic.

Now comes the paragraph where he ripped on Toni.

Today space opera is a battlefield for competing fantasies of the future.

Huh? I think he means that authors, when they create an imaginary future, must be making a statement about competing ideologies today. Well, first that is demonstrably false because we can quickly come up with a couple hundred examples where that isn’t true, and second if it really was a battlefield, my side is the one that sells more books. So we win. Yay.

As America plunged in to renewed militarism after 9/11, sci-fi books again began to mirror real-world wars. 

Notice. Lots of pasting Wiki synopsis earlier, but no examples to back this one up at all. Since this is the Baen paragraph, off the top of my head the only thing I can think of Caliphate.

Baen books specialises in works of “military SF” that, behind their appalling prose styles and laughable retro cover designs, speak to a right-wing readership who can recognise the enemies of America even when they are disguised as cannibal lizard aliens.

Wow… That’s a lot of bullshit crammed in that there click bait, but I’ll do my best.

  1. Earlier genre doesn’t exist, except then it does, then he gets to another sub-genre and feels the need to put “military SF” in quotes as if it is somehow made up. Pretty sure it actually exists. Military SF is basically Space Opera with military themes or setting, though it can also be very hard sci-fi depending on how it is written.
  2. Baen makes serious bank off of Mil-SF. Remember that bit earlier about the award winner selling 30 thousand copies? To put that number in perspective I’m a relative nobody, award loser, and I think we’ve given away more free promo copies of my books than that, I’m that still isn’t enough to make a statistical blip in the numbers. John Ringo, David Drake, and David Weber have each sold millions of copies. Mil-SF is extremely popular.
  3. Millions of copies, Damien, millions. Soak it up. 🙂
  4. Appalling prose styles? That’s a pretty broad brush to paint with there, Mr. Fashionable Solar Winds of the Competing Fantasies of the Future. But since the only things Damien has ever released have been some angsty short fiction that read like a high school creative writing class assignment he’s certainly the dude I’d take professional writing advice from.
  5. I never thought of Lois Bujold or Ben Bova as having appalling prose styles. Chuck Gannon just won the Compton Crook Award and he’s an English professor. I can just imagine Toni’s edits in the margins “Make this more appalling!”
  6. My understanding is that Damien has been working on his first novel for four years now and has a grant from the British government, so he’s collecting book welfare and yet still manages to talk shit about writers who actually put their stuff out there. What a sad little man.
  7. Aspiring authors, get this through your head. Cover art serves one purpose, and one purpose only, to get potential customers interested long enough to pick up the book to read the back cover blurb. In the internet age that means the thumb nail image needs to be interesting enough to click on. That’s what covers are for. Baen covers are distinct, the fan base knows what to look for, and the books sell extremely well.
  8. The cover of my last novel was a big purple demon and a big muscled guy punching each other in the face surrounded by monsters in test tubes and shattering glass. Was it over the top? Oh, hell yeah. Retro-outlandish? Perhaps. And during release week I had the #1 audibook in the country, #1 fantasy eBook on Amazon, and BookScan had me as the #2 bestselling fantasy losing only to Outlander while everybody was super excited about it ending up on Showtime. Mission accomplished.
  9. Book covers aren’t for Social Justice. If there is a hot chick on my cover, my first concern isn’t if Jim Hines is going to try and contort his pasty white body into that pose, it is going to be if the cover is going to pop on the shelves and draw the customer’s eye. I’d wrap all the hot chick’s chainmail bikinis in gold foil if I could get away with it.
  10. Book covers aren’t modern art exhibits. If Damien ever manages to sell a book, he can feel free to get as artsy fartsy as he wants, and I’m willing to bet that my book with fire breathing monsters and buffed people with guns on the cover sells a hundred times as many copies.
  11. Wait a second, is a snooty book critic actually admitting to judging books by their covers?
  12. If we’re selling this many books, then we can’t hardly be limited to just a hard right wing audience, unless of course, there are far more right wingers out there reading books than left wingers… But that thought is just too terrifying for Damien to contemplate.
  13. The only Baen book series I can think of with cannibal alien lizards would be Ringo’s Posleen invasion series, except the first book came out before 9-11. And John based the Posleen on the Mongol horde. I don’t remember the part where America fought the Genghis Khan. Harry Turtledove had militaristic lizard aliens invade during WW2, but that series started in the mid 90s, and it wasn’t from Baen.
  14. I’ve seen a bunch of comments on the FB thread where people are trying to figure out what the hell series Damien is taking about but I don’t think Damien actually reads books. That might expose him to dangerous badthink. He’s better off sticking to the Wikipedia synopses.
  15. Sadly for Damien, no matter how awesome he thinks his prose is, and the fact he writes for a major newspaper, the most widely read he’s ever been in his life is when I quote him on this blog.

Baen’s chief editor Toni Weisskopf went so far as to issue a diatribe against any and all sci-fi that did not pander to this conservative agenda.

Already covered why that was crap. And honest truth, Toni isn’t exactly a fire breathing right winger. She’s pretty calm, flexible, doesn’t really care what anyone does, and likes just about everyone. I wasn’t going to bother with any more of Damien’s inane articles but then he had to go and talk smack about my friend.

So the success of a novel like Ancillary Justice unfolds against a background of ongoing political strife within space opera. Anne Leckie’s novel builds upon foundations laid by Ursula Le Guin and Iain M Banks among others. Her vision of the future is one where empires rule the galaxy, but Ancillary Justice is an overt critique of the ways that power is used and abused. It continues the tradition of feminist writing withinscience fiction, famously adapting its pronoun usage as the central character struggles to understand the alien concept of binary gender.

I still haven’t read Ancillary Justice so have no comment on the book, but Leckie might want to talk to Damien about him continually touting her as an example though. Damien’s endorsement is like an anti-plug.

This bat
tle for the political high ground, while it is often petty, is far from unhealthy.

Interesting. The last time he talked about a battle within sci-fi it was SUPER UNHEALTHY when my side actually bothered to show up for once.  

The future science fiction has forecast and helped to shape, the future we are now deeply enmeshed in, is a profoundly political place.

Yeah… Judging by that line I’m betting Damien is straight up going to blow us away with his mad prose skilz.

That today’s science fiction writers engage with, reflect on, and fight over that future is a sign of an artform in fine health.

Yet in the same article Damien condemns a publishing house that actually has a politically diverse group of authors, but which puts reader enjoyment first, and is commercially successful. Then he makes it worse by attacking the character of its publisher. Toni Weisskopf is a true professional, and a pleasure to work with. She has spent countless hours developing new talent and also promoting and rereleasing old talent, all because she is a hard core, long time scifi and fantasy fan, and truly loves this stuff.

There’s a reason liars got the lowest circle in Dante’s hell.

EDIT! Damien engaged on Facebook. He tried to play semantic games, but I drew him out and finally got him to admit to libeling Toni Weisskopf. Check it out:

He admits that’s not what she said, but how he FELT, but that’s okay, because his column is opinion. This guy is seriously dumber than I suspected. 


The Guardian's Village Idiot Admits to Libel
Next BOOK BOMB! Tuesday the 9th, Curse of a Dark God by John Brown

197 thoughts on “Fisking the Guardian's Village Idiot Again”

  1. Damien, free advice for you: Paint is meant to be applied on walls, not huffed from a can. Use your free health care and get help for that problem.

  2. Hey, as a Mississippian, our GDP may be on par with theirs, but at least we’re still (moderately) free.

    Also, anyone who says “science fiction is not a genre” is too crazy to consider as a serious commentator on… anything. And judging by the article you’re responding to, good ol’ Damien is crazier than an outhouse rat.

    Steampunk is great; he’s the half-wit…

    And so on, and so on; I’ll just shorten this by saying “Me too!” to your response. He’s a toad.

    1. Damien is apparently latching on to some idea he’s recently read suggesting… You know what, here’s his tweet; the idea under discussion is linked to in the previous tweet in the thread:
      Apparently, SF as a “worldview” is incompatible with the idea of SF as a genre—i.e., a set of expectations & conventions shared between readers & writers. (ESR’s recent essays on “the deep norms of SF” certainly help shape the conversation.)

      Readers better versed than I in the bovine manure of literary analysis might be better placed to judge whether the mustella sine coles has characteristically misread this idea, or whether the idea is actually as stupid as Damien makes it sound. Anyway, that’s where this his stroke of brilliance comes from.

      1. Obviously we now need a new word. One that can properly categorize these explorations of worldview that use science and fictional science elements to facilitate the telling of their stories. What would be a good word for collections of worldview explorations that share common traits? It really seems like someone should have come up with a word for this at some point. Right?

    2. As long as it’s ok to just make stuff up like Damien did, I have an explanation. Damien like all Limeys, is a francophobe. He hates all things French. Thus “genre” is a Super Bad Word.

  3. Can I just say I absolutely love how you basically crap all over people who are wrong. It makes me happy to see you argue against somebody who can’t stand up to their own argument.

      1. On the upside, the cats don’t feel any special need to show it to the world.

        (Of course, they don’t get paid for it, either, so in that very narrow regard DW is one-up on your feline overlords. Not enough to compensate for everywhere else he falls short, mind you…)

    1. My cats purr and listening to them purr gives me far more pleasure than contemplating Damien’s pseudo-arguments. Their purring is also better-grounded logically, as they must produce rhythmic sounds and apply them appropriately in social situations to please us and express group membership — which they do. Quite well.

  4. One comment on Eric Flint.

    He seems exceedingly intense on the “Right to Bear Arms”. Meaning not just ‘you can have whatever a cop can have’ but closer to ‘you must be trained with a weapon to vote’. He never says that’s his personal view that I’m aware of, but 1632 has that as a recurring drumbeat. From discussions about ‘A gun is the heckler’s veto’, to all the pacifists going straight through a Posleen. (Wait, wrong series… but their life expectancy still not high.)

    Adding that single piece to “militant communist”, and I’m not sure where you get. But it’s not where any of the actually attempted Communisms have gone. It actually seems closest to Israel’s kibbutzim to me.

    1. Or maybe that is what small West Virginia towns were like when he grew up?

      Firstly, even today a small rural town is not going to be representative of large swaths of America’s population.

      When he grew up would have been at the tail end of the Democratic regime in certain rural areas keeping parts of the population disarmed so that they might be more readily murdered. This may well have included where he grew up.

      I think his other books talk about the stuff somewhat in proportion to how relevant and appropriate to story and setting.

    2. Eric Flint is a Trotskyist. They are ardent believers in the right to bear arms. An armed working class cannot have their revolution co-opted, like Stalin co-opted the Bolshevik revolution to become dictator.

      1. I can see the theory, but an armed working class can indeed have their revolution co-opted. The proof is that Washington DC isn’t choked with the corpses of politicians as we speak.

  5. Great Fisk, Larry. I first read this article when thewriterinblack had it in his Facebook feed, and it struck me as ludicrous then. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you or Toni yet, but of the Baen authors I have met, they seemed to be a pretty open-minded and diverse bunch. And if I’ve sold basically the same number of copies of my first little indie book as the freakin’ Hugo and Nebula award winner, what the hell is her publisher doing (or not doing) for her? The space opera community is fairly voracious, so why doesn’t she have bigger numbers with all her free press? And HOW does Damien Walters continue to have enough of a readership to justify his continued employment by the Guardian if all he us out is easily refuted crap?

    1. “And HOW does Damien Walters continue to have enough of a readership to justify his continued employment by the Guardian if all he us out is easily refuted crap?”

      You know that saying about “There are none so blind as those who will not see”? I think you can get the proper sum from there.

    1. Well, I’m not offended by complaints about steampunk. I’ve had reservations about it for some time, before I had any formal training, when my intuition bugged me about the power density issues in certain episodes of cartoons like Aladdin and Zorro.

      I figure an inability to suspend disbelief for steampunk is as legitimate as the same for mecha.

      1. Power Density Schmower Density. If the 9v Battery in a hand Phaser can blow up a ship when set to overload, clearly the problem has been licked. And if we can solved it in the future, we could have solved it in the past.

        /big silly grin

      2. Well then, I need to get started on some historical research for the megacorp wars of the late eighteenth century. Clockwork VR FTW.

        1. In the nineteenth century megacorp wars were real wars.
          Railroad wars
          Standard Oil
          Trust Busting
          George Hearst
          Mining Strike
          Molly Maguires
          Tesla vs. Edison

          If I wasn’t The Reader™ I’d be tempted to write it myself.

      3. Yeah, but the actual stuff at the level of quasi war was sorta the same thing lots of different people were doing. Indian wars, range wars, outlaws…

        Lots of untapped potential. Hence why I want to drill down, have the right time and place, and not just the vague muddle of what I know off the top of my head.

    2. Actually, looking at the actual wording, I have a problem with what he said.

      I’m not super impressed with cyberpunk. As a predictive model, it seems deep into fantasy, or maybe la la land. As with any genre, it is good if the joy one gets from it beats out tolerating the genre conventions.

      I don’t think steam punk’s issues with power density and fabrication of machinery* are much, if any, worse than cyberpunk’s cybernetics, VR magic as programming, and other issues.

      Some of what gets billed as hard sci fi seems pretty squishy to me.

      *How many writers of this give the impression they have much shop experience fabricating? Flint was a machinist, which might be part of why 163x seems to have stayed out of the steam punk genre.

      1. Cyberpunk also has social-science problems. Specifically, its common assumption that corporations can easily buy loyalty as meaningful as those which nation-states earn through cultural identity. Or, alternately, that loyalty is unimportant in the future, for some never well specified reason — especially since the personal loyalties of the core group of characters, rarely well-justified, are at the heart of most cyberpunk stories.

      2. Right. “Pure” Cyberpunk is very much a product of the ’80s. While the cybernetics and “net” are what get the most attention, the anti-corporate elements are probably the most important in defining the genre.

        It’ll be interesting to see how much of that makes it into the upcoming Cyberpunk video game (based on the old pencil and paper RPG of the same name by R. Talsorian) that CD Projekt Red (Witcher) is working on. Some of the old views that drove cyberpunk (“Japan buys the world!” “Megacorps are everwhere!” etc…) now seems passe and dated.

      3. A corporation is a product of a legal code. If people care enough about the parts of a code that cause such to exist, it seems magical for them to disregard the rest.

        I like VR stories well enough, but the megacorp stuff doesn’t thrill me.

      4. This really, really smart guy I know once wrote a mini-essay about what Cyberpunk was:

        I think you’ll find it pretty much spot-on.

        This same guy — seriously, just a frickin’ genius — also explain why Cyberpunk was dead, and what that meant for a genre:

        Again, food for thought.

      5. I think a lot of the issue with Steam Punk is that many people are forgetting its origins. Steampunk is, at it’s heart, retro sci-fi. It’s going back to Jules Verne and his ilk (a very good ilk to go back to) and projecting from there rather than from our modern understanding. The steam punk I actually have enjoyed seems to be the ones that have not forgotten this. My two cents left with a grain of salt.

      6. I originally only linked to this, but apparently WordPress, she don’t lika the links. (Stuck in moderation.)

        So, here’s my 2006 mini-essay on what Cyberpunk is:

        Cyberpunk, as a genre, reflects the worst fears of 1980’s Leftwing politics; it’s essentially their reaction to the “Greed of Reagan-era America”.

        Cyberpunk writers rejected contemporary American society. They were the modern descendants of the ’60’s Countercuture. As political leftists they had a vision of an idealized future that could come to be from Marxist/”New Left” politics; cyberpunk was their version of what would be if those policies weren’t adopted. These fears are portrayed in the worst, most apocalyptic (and lurid) fashion, resulting in a dark and dystopic future.

        Some of the common themes (not all apply to every story that is called “cyberpunk,” but these are common to many stories of the genre):

        Hyper capitalism (manifesting as corporate fuedalism and serfism), corporate greed resulting in their control of the government and economy. Environmental disasters (as the corporations either have the enviromental protection laws repealed or are so powerful they can ignore them). The “Rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer”- utter poverty on a wide scale, utter luxury for a small minority. There’s no social “safety net” for those down and out, and extreme poverty and disenfranchisement is common.

        This was the view of what (certain) Leftists feel was the inevitable result of American society and, in particular, Reaganite America. Bruce Sterling, on a website, in fact wrote an essay (just a couple of years ago) claiming that cyberpunk was the inevitable future.

        This generation also fetishized the rebels (ex.: Vietnam war protesters) and blamed the system for crushing the hopes of the common man. The system (including the law, the police, government, and the corporate economy) is wrong and so rebelling against it by breaking laws is morally acceptable. Thus most of cyberpunk glorifies rebels, and people who reject the values of society: hackers, criminals, thieves, assassins, and so forth.

        Cyberpunk adopted an anti-hero ethic and a nihilistic ethos. It also had a certain style and edge which appealed to adolescents and misfits. Acting and looking “cool” was lauded, as cool people are almost by definition rebels who defy the system and don’t take no guff from The Man. Mirrorshades, trenchcoats, leather, guns, katanas, “live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse”, “style over substance”, etc.

        Most cyberpunk is not about making the world better, its about fighting to survive in a cold, heartless world of crime and poverty, made so because of the greed of corporations and the rich. There is no chance to make things better (if the protagonists even care to try), because the system is so much bigger than you and simply grinds on, ignoring your efforts.

        Thus the nihilistic ethos — there is simply no chance to save the future or make meaningful change. The masses don’t care (or are too poor to make a difference), the media is controlled by the government and corps, the rich own everything, and they don’t even bother crushing rebels, because rebellion is small and pointless and the rebels are ants to their Death Star. If nothing matters, and the world sucks anyway, and nothing you do will make a difference, then you can do anything you want, because it all the same in the end.

        Cyberpunk is a high-tech, computer-hip (but computer-ignorant), nihilistic version of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”. Instead of a Red revolution freeing the workers, the protagonists just survive (maybe) and move on.

        Some cyberpunk writers do have a more hopeful outlook (Much of Gibson’s stuff could be said to reflect this) but most of it was dark and hopeless.

    3. Oh hell, he slammed heroic fantasy on Twitter a while back. It’s like he wants to alienate everybody except the literati. Which he probably does.

      1. I imagine they don’t like him as much as he thinks they like him, they just don’t say anything in front of him, and he still hopes that if he insults the right people enough he’ll be invited to all the right parties, eventually.

  6. I hate to bang on about this… but I will anyway. Damian Walter is one of those people for whom politics is the transcendent center of his universe. It’s his gospel (in a strictly LDS sense).

    Politics is the process by which democracies decide what laws get made. It is entirely concerned with establishing rules which determine what people to punish with fines, imprisonment, or death. (Hence my analogy to plumbing: politics deals with the shit of human existence, like murder, rape, robbery, and so forth.)

    Politics is entirely concerned with making laws to punish other humans’ behavior, in an effort to get them to modify it. Punish murder, get less murders. (And, amazingly enough given how brutal humans are, this actually works. More or less. Under most circumstances. For most people.)

    The process of winning elections and making laws is ugly, difficult, protracted, and unsatisfying. All laws involve unsatisfying compromises, no law works perfectly, and humans do not always obey the laws you pass anyway. Each level of the process is flawed.

    Making this flawed process the center of your belief system, making it the lens through which you view all of existence, will inevitably cause you great misery.

    On Twitter, Walter said: ” ‘I don’t read authors for their political views’ = I only read authors whose political views are in absolute agreement with my own.”

    Politics is the center of Walter’s existence, it is the lens through which he judges every thing. So much so, that he cannot even imagine that it might be different for other people.

    Oppose him, yes, because people like him need to be opposed. But also pity him, because he has guaranteed himself a life filled with misery and disappointment. He worships politics, and that is a God that will always fail him.

    1. Sorry Daddy Warpig, but alas, I can’t pity him — there is no pity in my heart for someone that willfully ignorant. Ignorance that blatantly profound can only be the result of a conscious act of will.

      On the flip-side, I completely agree with you that “he has guaranteed himself a life filled with misery and disappointment.” Likewise, I am sure he will spend the bulk of that life blaming his misery and disappointment on others. Probably Larry, which is rather ungrateful, considering Damien only has a readership thanks to Larry’s fiskings — but that’s human nature, biting the hand that feeds you.

      1. That’s cool. I tend to feel pity only when I remember to slow down and think of what life is like for people like him. The rest of the time, I tend to be too angry or outraged to feel much pity.

        I get where you’re coming from, in other words. 🙂

    2. “Oppose him, yes, because people like him need to be opposed.”

      I couldn’t agree more. As you pointed out, politics is just a tool for ordering societies. Culture precedes politics.

      It is equally inevitable and pitiable when social engineers’ attempts to manipulate culture explode in their faces and leave them stumbling blindly wondering what went wrong. That blindness insulates most of them from the lessons of experience, so they keep on trying.

      They’re desensitized to the harm they inflict on themselves and oblivious to how the fallout afflicts countless others. They must be stopped for their sake and ours.

    3. “On Twitter, Walter said: ‘‘I don’t read authors for their political views’ = I only read authors whose political views are in absolute agreement with my own.'”

      That reminds me a lot of the guy who was trying to claim that GenCon was a cesspool of racial bias, who wrote “If you do not see race, you do not see me”. Both quotes are more than a touch Orwellian: ignoring the idiotic 18th century concept of ‘race’ is racist, putting enjoyment ahead of politics is ultra-political.

    4. That twitter quote, being in another layer of quotes… is he attributing that statement to someone else? Is he accusing someone who says they don’t inform their reading choices on the basis of the author’s politics of actually selecting authors on the basis of matching politics? Hmmm, because that leads to the opposite stance returning the same results.

      Or is he clarifying one of his own statements? The context isn’t clear.

      Of course, with Leftists, “Don’t Read” in that sentence is a single verb, equivalent to “boycott”, try the substitution and you’ll get the meaning of what’s being said.

      1. The context is clear on Twitter… but I don’t know how to do one of those hip new Twitter quote graphics thingies without sending WordPress into a tizzy and having it relegate my comment to “Awaiting Moderation” hell.

        Here’s the exact text of his Twitter post, exactly as posted:

        “I don’t read authors for their political views” = I only read authors whose political views are in absolute agreement with my own.

        That’s pretty clear cut. Anyone who says they don’t read because of politics, is lying. They just read authors whose politics they agree with.

        And that is a sick, sad attitude to have.

        1. I caught that tweet. Just another iteration of “the only voice you’re allowed is the one I give you.”

          Yeah, bullshit, Damien.

  7. Heh. Am I the only one who finds an actual use for Damien articles? I read them, and anything he badmouths goes instantly on my Amazon wishlist. So far, I think I’ve only been….not-in-awe….of one book out of all that he’s trashed. So at least he’s a good source of books/authors that I haven’t discovered yet!

    The ones he’s liked, that I’ve read, I have yet to be able to finish due to the lack of story in favor of bash-the-reader-with-_____-political-commentary prose.

  8. Ah, Damien. Reading your fisks of him never cease to make me laugh. But it’s a bit like putting a baby duck up against a Mountain Lion. And on the whole topic of genres? I think someone needs to introduce Damien to comedy. He’ll fit right in.

  9. I read the slander of Toni a couple of days ago. I don’t know her. I’ve got not a clue about her personally. But I’d read what she said (unlike those who lie) and posted a scathing and extremely brief thing to facebook… to a not-random and wholly inappropriate group attached to the university where I’m a student. Once I’d managed to delete it I wasn’t quite as angry and left it off my personal stream, but man, Larry… I understand why you get so danged mad when people insult your fans and someone like Toni. Yes, I know it’s fun to fisk the idiot but that made me downright angry. The LYING makes me angry.

    1. The LYING makes me angry.

      Yep. It’s what always squeezes my vasculature. The compelling lies and the incurious souls who believe in them.

  10. No shame in being a moderate Republican. Most of the Democrats that liberals laud, from the 1960s, would today qualify as moderate Republicans: hard on communism, favoring rugged American exceptionalism on the international stage, big on the military, pro-NRA. You know, all that evil shit liberals are always whining about in 2014.

    1. Depends on how one views the Democratic Party.

      If one thinks it might well be consistent from antebellum to the current day. If one thinks that its characteristic habits include murder, electoral fraud, and terrorism, and find these reprehensible. If one thinks that joining the Democratic Party is as evil as joining the NSDAP, or a communist party…

      Then one might be ashamed to be thought someone who could be a Democrat in a different environment.

      1. Bob, best to ease off. People like Daniel Patrick Moynihan are respected in conservative circles. We might not agree with everything he had to say (there’s a reason why he was a Democrat, after all). But you wouldn’t lump him in with groups like NASDAP or the Communists.

        Reagan himself was a Democrat growing up. And as he liked to say, he didn’t leave the party. The party left him.

      2. There were exceptions, good people in the NSDAP, and perhaps also some of the communist parties. There is no theoretical problem with there being the occasional good person in the Democratic Party.

        Why would I not draw those comparisons? Are you going to say that the Democratic Party did not create any mass graves in the twenties and thirties?

        Reagan no more changes my impression of the Democratic Party than the German businessman in China who attempted to mitigate Japanese atrocities does for the NSDAP.

        The Democratic Party leaving behind this or that decent individual may be merely returning to its roots, its true nature.

      3. Bob, once again, best to ease off. The point is that the Democratic party has changed over the years. And it’s changed a lot. You’re conflating the party as it existed six decades ago with the party as it exists now. It’s true that some elements are in common between then and now. But there have also been massive changes since then – just as there have been changes in the Republican Party during that time period.

    2. Brad,

      Considering that JFK was a lifetime member of the NRA, would he have had a chance of being nominated by the Democrats today?

  11. Quite apart from his proud ignorance and arrogance, Damien’s wankery is absolutely mind-boggling. He must have to shave his palms on a daily basis…and keep his shirt collar buttoned up to hide the circumcision scar. 😛

  12. You know, I read the articles….I wonder if the guardian’s halfwit even read what Ms Weisskopf wrote? I read it and the main thing I got out of it was Ms Weisskopf saying, more or less ‘conversation is what made this great and the conversation is breaking down now because …..’ I’d suggest the Guardian fire their halfwit, but then I’d lose the entertainment of watching the ILoH fisk him.

    1. >” I’d suggest the Guardian fire their halfwit, but then I’d lose the entertainment of watching the ILoH fisk him.”<

      One possible explanation for Damien's continued employment there, is that the Guardian's editors might share that viewpoint…

      1. Someone told me the Guardian[like so many of our “news outlets” over here] leans so far left, it’s amazing the building that houses it, doesn’t fall the hell over

    2. “You know, I read the articles….I wonder if the guardian’s halfwit even read what Ms Weisskopf wrote?”

      As Larry pointed out above, Damien seems to have read what John Scalzi wrote about her post, not the post itself. So, in conclusion, Damien Walter is a lazy idiot, and John Scalzi is a gigantic asshole.

  13. Totally off-topic: CATHERINE ASARO! Earlier today I was trying to remember the name of the awesome physicist hardest-of-the-hard-SF author who I met at a con a decade and change ago, and coming up totally empty. Thanks for a delightful fisking and jogging my memory. 🙂

      1. I’ve met Catherine at a couple of cons (“met” her online in the days of GEnie and beta read one of her novels–The Last Hawk I think it was) and I agree. She’s a wonderful person.

        I have no idea what her politics are and I’m perfectly okay with that. 😉

  14. My personal thought is to lock up the Damien’s of the world in a room with only the collected works of F.A. Hayek to read and not let them out until they can right a 5000 word essay that proves they understood the “Mirage of Social Justice.” They don’t have to agree with it just understand it.

  15. The thing is, the Intellectual Left abandoned all connection to reality when the Soviet Revolution happened, and they suddenly had to deal with the facts of Communism instead of the airy theories. They couldn’t wrap their tiny minds around Lenin authoring more death warrants in six months than the Tsar had in the previous six years. They couldn’t even BEGIN to encompass the monstrousness of Stalin. They retreated to an academic fantasyland of their own creation and have now been in there so long that there are multiple generations that have never been anywhere else.

    This is how the Gray Eminences of NYT recognized Literature could go all gushy about “Magical Realism” in novels (circa the 1990’s and after) as if it wasn’t pretty much what Ray Bradbury had been doing (rather better) since the 1950’s. This is how they can ignore both the Acorn intercepts and the records of the KGB regarding the guilt of Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs, and still carry on as if the “Red Scare” had no basis.

    These idiots have been more or less in control of Academia, Primary Education, and the Media for decades now. There are people who live in a sea of their bullish*t who are no more aware of it than they are aware of the air they breathe. It doesn’t matter if this dolt is an actual Lefty Intellectual, a Wannabe, or simply the casualty of what passes for “education” at their hands.

    They MUST make up quotes and “facts” about their enemies. They would no more read actual evidence than they would join the NRA. They have totally forgotten how to have a debate, because when they still knew they kept losing.

    1. You are certainly correct in that. I wonder how the world would be if Hoover had let the Soviets starve instead of saving them Would the intellectuals have abandoned them if the starvation had continued? in the 1930’s people could still be horrified by millions of starving people.

      1. The intellectuals still haven’t managed to absorb that in every Communist Revolution to date the first batch of people up against the wall (after those directly connected with the fallen government, of course) are the intellectuals. They have barely noticed THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO exists, much less that it describes a system of “justice” practiced by most “Revolutionary” governments (the exceptions mostly just shoot you). I doubt like hell they would have noticed anything as far away and boring as a bunch of little people starving.

      2. If they knew about it. They didn’t know about the Holodomor. I don’t know that most of them know about it now, or if they do, what they thought of it.

        1. Never underestimate the strength of willful ignorance.

          Larry vs. Damien; really resembles pistol whipping a blind kid.

  16. OMG, you mean I’m on the road to outselling a Hugo winner? Me a relative newbie?
    Yeah, something is seriously WRONG with the award when it looks like I’ll outsell them in the next several months. If you haven’t sold at least a 100K copies, your book shouldn’t be allowed to compete. This is supposed to be the best out there, and if you’re not selling a lot of books, you’re obviously not the best.

    1. Dude, you are just so ACHINGLY close to cracking the #1000 mark in the overall Kindle Store, it’s driving me crazy trying to watch it. (And you’re #14 and #15 in the two Sword and Sorcery lists, I just checked).

      1. I’m trying very hard not to obsess over the numbers. I have #3 in the series to finish and #2 is launching just before the Air Races. It’s really been a head trip to suddenly be in the top twenty, and see my sales going up so fast. I just hope it keeps up and that I can continue to make my readers happy.

    2. It’s not that hard, actually. You may end up better known than many recent Hugo winners, too. 🙂

  17. I’ve have made a careful calculation and it appears Baen’s list of authors is about 75 kabillion times more ideologically diverse than this year’s Hugo and Nebula winners.

    As for the idea man-eating lizards is conservative SFF code for Muslims, gay people, and non-whites, I would like to point out every author who won a Nebula or Hugo this year doesn’t trouble to disguise me as a racist black hole or white dwarf retarded failed sun but straight out says “white cis dudes” are a civilizational pain in the hind end who sock women, gays and PoC in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. And that doesn’t include my fantasies about dragging people I don’t know behind pick-up trucks.

    Plus one Nebula-winning story portrayed new world noble PoC who ritually sacrificed and ate people as good guys and the people who didn’t eat or sacrifice people as hind ends.

    After the Nebulas the PC lizard-people didn’t trouble to Tweet that no racist black holes won an award but actually smirked that no white men did which brought on my white tears. For some reason the reactionary conservative racists are lacking in quotes like “Yaaay!!! Gay black women don’t sell many books. Keep up the good work whites and pour it on.”

    However, I have carefully counted over twelve billion racist quotes by Jim Hines alone. White heterosexual men are the core enemy behind every move these morons make. All in all I think the PC-lizards don’t bark in code so much as their brains work backwards. If the PC call you a racist the chances you’re not one are close to 100%.

  18. First, I want to say that when I grow up, I hope I can fisk like Larry.

    Second, I want to address the understanding that Damien has spent four years on his book. A while back, he put something out on Twitter about how if creating a book was like having a baby, then he was in his 19th trimester. Since a trimester is three months, I simply multipled 19 by three. That’s 57 months, or 4.75 years…I left off the decimal points and rounded down and shared this number. Obviously, Damien is free to dispute the number, but it’s based on information he put out. So, if he wants to scream about it, at least I’m willing to own up where I got my information.

    Unlike him.

    As for Toni, I don’t know her. I’m a Facebook friend, but I’ve never really talked to her. However, people I do know and respect think the world of her. That’s all I need to know.

    Now, on to his bashing of steampunk. Honestly, I wonder why people are surprised. Steampunk is an alternate history type sub-genre where writers are generally more interested in telling enjoyable stories than making some point on a topic that is now effectively a dead issue (colonialism). In other words, it’s about fun and not about making a political point. Of course the asshole would hate it.

  19. Heh…this one wasn’t quite as long as I expected Larry. 😛
    That being said…he’s a lying, hypocritical ignorant ass. In dire need of being fed to the sharks.
    Hmm probably should have used a different descriptive other than “ass” it’s probably an insult to that particular breed.

    and no my friends…it wouldn’t be cruel and unusual punishment to the sharks. they are the garbage cans of the ocean

  20. Eric Flint may be a communist, but he is a conservative communist, living a bygone era when it was about actually doing things instead of talking and posing.

  21. Just for a totally irrelevant factoid. I have more friends on face book than he has likes. More followers on google+. More followers on twitter than he does.

    I know it doesn’t prove anything but we just increased the number of people just paid attention to him. You’re making him happy.

    1. If it pleases his employers to keep him on so his idiocy can be exposed, so be it. Let him speak, it serves a broader purpose.

    2. Demosthenes and Locke were both intelligent and articulate. If you want to see how mind boggling stupid Damien actually is, go read the Facebook link on the bottom. I knew he was dumb, but I was blown away.

      1. There are dumber folks out there.

        If you want to watch a scathing indictment of the leftard hivemind, search youtube for “internetaristocrat tumblrisms” ( spelling is correct ).

        ( oh, and BTW, that tard’s article cost me some IQ points )

  22. Reblogged this on The Worlds of Tarien Cole and commented:
    And now that you’ve read my take, here is the International Lord of Hate. Who, it might be added, got this sad little man to admit he made up everything for his newspaper article. That is to say, he lied in an attempt to harm another business. There’s a legal term for that. It’s a tad bit harder to prove in the UK. But even still, misconstruing what someone said as if they didn’t usually fulfills the term.

      1. I freely confess that the ins and outs of UK libel law are not my area of expertise. 🙂 But at least as of 2010, non-UK newspapers could certainly be hauled into UK courts by libel tourists. I randomly happened to be at a hearing at the European Parliament one day, in which the subject matter included a Ukrainian newspaper that had been sued into penury by the Ukrainian mobsters they’d been reporting on — in the UK, despite everyone involved being Ukrainian. Maybe there are special rules for British papers, or some kind of tabloid exception? Or maybe things have just changed since 2010.

        The hearing was filmed and I’m pretty sure it’s on YouTube; I’m happy to dig up the link if EU parliamentary proceedings interest you in any way.

  23. The funny thing is Walter just recently tried to scare a guy he’d get sued for a crowdfunded video about Anita Sarkeesian, the good-humor gal who goes after video games all feministy-style. Naturally white heterosexual men don’t fare well in Sarkeesian’s world because they build cheveaux-de-frise to keep gays, non-whites and women out of everything, as we now know white men are wont to do from sheer meanness and stupidity due to whiteness and uncontrollable male urges, which are invariably negative.

    Plus white men are morons. And they smell funny.

    And they’re white.

  24. Hahahahaha!

    Wow, you are on fire! Made me snort my scotch TWICE while smoking a pipe.

    Well done, sir.

    Those that can, do. Those that can’t, take a government stipend and write for The Guardian.


  25. I read ONE Banks novel given to me by a friend, and am now keeping it in the house in case I need to smash a cockroach or if there’s a serious toilet paper shortage. I was a rude awakening for me. The first time that I had encountered a SJW screed disguised as fiction. I got angry, and then I laughed. If this is what the SJWs and GHHs consider to be a “good” book, they’ll starve in short order. There’s not enough people stupid enough to spend money on that tripe.

    1. I don’t really care if they say nothing. People have to live with their friends. I only care if they started bad-talking their fellow authors and LYING about their editor.

  26. You know, it’s really sad for Damien that even *I* have made more selling fiction than he has. Well, unless you count what he writes for the Guardian as Fiction. I mean, it appears to be, but I’m sure he doesn’t see it that way.

  27. Sir, I bought your book. You’re welcome.

    I haven’t bought any SFF type books for over 20 years (with the exception on GRRM’s Game of Thrones… but hey, I saw the tv show and just had to know…) so, by and large, couldn’t give a crap about the genre.

    But over the last few months I’ve been following the stoopid. I downloaded a few samples: Correia, Leckie, Hoyt, and a chap named Neal Asher. Asher and Hoyt interested me, Leckie I found boring beyond belief, Correia… damn you I HAD TO KNOW.

    1. You know, there are some annoying cliches in the Steampunk genre, but to me, the best way to address them is to write better Steampunk, not tear down the whole freakin’ subgenre and everyone who works in it.

      1. I haven’t got an issue with steampunk in terms of how ‘realistic’ it is – if they can suspend my disbelief enough to get me submerged into the story and enjoy it, they did their job. However, I agree with everything you said.

        Or, in the case of Girl Genius have me enjoy it so much I don’t CARE about the massive flaws.

      2. Technically, the writers of Girl Genius are very insistent on defining its genre as “Gaslamp fantasy”, not Steampunk.

        ‘Course, if you’re talking about where it gets shelved…

      3. Given my skills, I’m likely to write worse steampunk. Plus, is it steampunk if one works pre-steam?

    2. What little I’ve tried to read didn’t seem my sort of thing, even though I like the *concept*. I suppose Hard Magic, etc., is sort of steampunky on account of Zeppelins.

      I’d never slam a sub-genre because *I* didn’t care for it. I don’t like Zombies either… in general terms. And Vampires, bleh… don’t see the appeal to undead blood sucking monsters unless they’re being splattered on walls.

      1. I tend to use the term “human-form mosquitos” for vampires.

        (Need to find one of those “…and then Buffy staked Edward. The End.” t-shirts/posters.)

      2. I like using some of it to bring a low level of tech into fantasy, but not enough to really count as steampunk (think more magitech, I guess?) because I lack the other accoutrements and tropes associated with the genre. Very loosely though; I’m not enough of an engineer to conceptualize a lot of these things sensibly.

        A bit like the Gnomes and their inventions and tinkering in the Dragonlance setting, but they actually work in story.

        Still, people enjoy the genre, and I’m not gonna piss on their fun just because it ain’t my thing. Besides, I like the costumes and designs they come up with. They look nifty.

      3. I’m currently reading _Lord Kelvin’s Machine_, which isn’t bad, but isn’t really all that gripping either. For my Steampunk fix I just read _Girl Genius_:-).

      4. Hard magic is more dieselpunk I believe. Same thing as steampunk except set closer to the world wars than the civil war, with differing technological styles.

  28. Well I went to facebook and found the back and forth between Larry and the Damien.

    Just skip my post if this is too much info.

    **** Facebook ****

    *Richard D. Cartwright No, I think Damien should be invited to Libertycon. Heck, I would pay his membership.

    *Damien Walter Libertycon sounds great. When is it?

    *Larry Correia Hey, Damien, how about you cite where Toni said that or you retract it and issue a public apology?

    *Damien Walter How about you give a definition of science fiction, as you’re certain it’s a genre.

    *Larry Correia Okay, noun, plural genres [zhahn-ruh z; French zhahn-ruh] (Show IPA)
    a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like:
    the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music.
    Fine Arts.
    paintings in which scenes of everyday life form the subject matter.
    a realistic style of painting using such subject matter.
    genus; kind; sort; style.
    Fine Arts. of or pertaining to genre.
    of or pertaining to a distinctive literary type.

    According to the world’s largest book retailers and publishing houses, science fiction is a genre.

    So, back to you, who started it, cite where Toni said that.

    *Damien Walter I said give a definition of science fiction, not of genre.

    *Larry Correia First thing on Google: Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. It often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a “literature of ideas”.[1] Authors commonly use science fiction as a framework to explore politics, identity, desire, morality, social structure, and other literary themes.

    Now, back to the part where you fabricated a total lie about Toni Weisskopf, cite where she said that. This isn’t some little obfuscation issue over terminology, cite where she said that or you are a liar.

    *Larry Correia From Britain:

    British Dictionary definitions for science fiction Expand
    science fiction
    a literary genre that makes imaginative use of scientific knowledge or conjecture
    (as modifier) a science fiction writer

    *Damien Walter What’s the scientific knowledge in Star Wars?

    *Larry Correia Shit, it is harder to find a definition of science fiction that doesn’t use the word genre in it.

    But that is a side show. Let’s get back to the part where you lied about Toni. Provide a cite where she said that. There is nothing open to interpretation. She either said that or she didn’t.

    *Damien Walter Where is the scientific knowledge in Star Wars? You mean you write science fiction, but can’t define it without google? Lame.

    *Larry Correia Look at you playing semantic games. I don’t do the frenemies thing Damien. Cite her or you are a fucking liar. I even posted the link to her diatribe. Cite it or you are admitting to everyone that you are liar.

    You did the same thing to me when you put words in quotes attributed to me which I never said.

    *Damien Walter Come on Larry. You’re a scifi writer. Where is the scientific knowledge in Star Wars?

    *Joseph Capdepon II Before we get into ideas like faster than light travel, robots, shield technology, weapons that fire coherent light, the mecha, the fighters, etc, I want to see where Toni claims to say what you claim she said Damien, or like Larry said, you are just a fucking liar.

    *Damien Walter Because it’s an easy question. Any fan has discussed this a thousand times.

    *Larry Correia I didn’t write a response to your opinion on Star Wars. I wrote a response to the fact you’re a liar. I’ve given you multiple dictionary definitions. Now you owe me an answer. Provide the cite.

    As for Star Wars sci-fi elements (because you conveneintly leave out the part of the definition which says CONJECTURE) robots, AI, FTL, laser weapons, space ships, alien life.

    Now, that’s 3 I’ve answered. Give me the one I asked for. Provide the cite where Toni said that or demonstrate that you lied.

    *Damien Walter Hurrah Greg Ellis yes Star Wars is indeed a lot like fantasy! These genres aren’t so clear. So, what do you call the genre that contains both SF and Fantasy?

    *Larry Correia Cite where Toni said that.

    *Damien Walter You haven’t answered my question at all Larry. You want to assert that science fiction is a genre. And yet you can’t even separate it from Fantasy.

    *Larry Correia They are both genre fiction, but this is pretty obvious pathetic obfuscation. Provide a cite where Toni said that.

    You are a liar and a coward.

    Genre fiction categories primarily exist so that book sellers know where to shelve things. According to the largest retailers in the world it goes fiction-scifi/fantasy- then they break down into sub genres. Whoop. None of that has anything to do with the part where you fabricated a lie about a real person, and now you will not provide a cite.

    Quit trying to change the subject. You are a liar. Provide the cite or shut the fuck up.

    *Steve Poling So, Larry Correia cites examples of serial lying, impugns the fellow’s character and Damien says, “Correia is really mad.” The guy gets knocked around like a pinata and his defense is the passion with which his whipping was administered.

    *Larry Correia Of course I’m mad. I don’t like liars.

    *Damien Walter I read Toni’s essay when it was published, and dozens of responses to it, and re-read in writing that piece. My opinion of it was exactly as stated in my column.

    *Larry Correia Guys, screen cap this.

    *Damien Walter No, toni’s essay as a whole is a diatribe – IE one sided and biased. Every single sentence singles out those she politically disagrees with as the enemy, and her message is that for “peace” to come back to the genre they need get bak in line with the genres conservative values.

    *Damien Walter Now let’s get back to genre Larry. You’re asserting that science fiction is a genre, but you can’t define it.

    Larry Correia So Damien just said – ” I read Toni’s essay when it was published, and dozens of responses to it, and re-read in writing that piece. My opinion of it was exactly as stated in my column.”

    So you just admitted that she didn’t say that. You fabricated it. You put words in her mouth. There was nothing about pandering to right wingers.

    So in your newspaper column you knowingly put fake words into the mouth of another person, thereby harming their business.


    *Damien Walter Still no definition of genre. If you want to hold science fiction as a genre Larry, you need to have a definition. How about literature, is that a genre?

    *Damien Walter The novel? Poetry? Theatre? Are those genres?

    *Larry Correia At no point did you specify in your column that it was your opinion. You fabricated something and put it out as if it was fact. You did not clarify in any way that was your opinion of Toni’s words, you portrayed it, to your audience, as if that was something which she had actually said, knowing full well that it was a lie.

    I can’t believe you were dumb enough to admit that in public. Screen capped.

    Now when Toni gets back from DragonCon we’ll have to see if she wants to sue you for libel or not. Be glad that it is her and not me, because she is far kinder.

    *Damien Walter There’s a long history of debate about defining science fiction. One of the long established arguments in that debate is that genre definitions don’t fit SF. So it’s hardly a new opinion.

    *Damien Walter All newspaper columns are opinion Larry. That’s the distinction between a columnist and a reporter. I’m entirely happy with the piece, and of course you’re welcome to proceed however you wish.

    *Larry Correia Hey, Damien, while I’ve got you here, any chance you can explain how your quotes you misattributed to me were based upon your feelings as opposed to things I actually said?

    *Larry Correia Since you are hung up on definitions,
    [lahy-buh l] Spell Syllables
    Examples Word Origin
    defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures.
    the act or crime of publishing it.
    a formal written declaration or statement, as one containing the allegations of a plaintiff or the grounds of a charge.
    anything that is defamatory or that maliciously or damagingly misrepresents.
    verb (used with object), libeled, libeling or (especially British) libelled, libelling.
    to publish a libel against.
    to misrepresent damagingly.
    to institute suit against by a libel, as in an admiralty court.

    But we’ll have to see how that opinion of yours about how everything in a newspaper is just opinion shakes out.

    *Steve Lewis Damien’s genre question is the attempt of a no-nothing to sound intelligent.

    Nothing more.

    Could you make the point that Star Wars is, in many ways, a fantasy story that incorporates a science fiction image system, but that doesn’t negate the science fiction label. The Lensman series that Damien cites is classic science fiction and incorporates many of the same elements that Star Wars does.

    Also, Damien, yes, the novel is a genre.

    *Damien Walter Yes, exactly, the novel is a genre, that’s why I asked. Is literature a genre?

    *Dillis Freeman Larry, I know some excellent Queen’s Counsel and solicitors if you would like a referral. They would have fun with this.

    *Larry Correia Dillis, that would be wonderful. I leave it entirely up to Toni’s mercy.

    *Damien Walter Ok Larry, we’ve established you’re suing me now let’s get back to your assertion that science fiction is a genre. Define the genre, what is SF and what isn’t?

    *Damien Walter Secondary question, is literature a genre?

    *Damien Walter Also, original question, Libertycon. Sounds great, when is it?

    *Dillis Freeman Larry, have Toni contact me at her convenience. Would she like the head of the News of the World investigation team? He’s expensive but loser pays in the English system.

    *Larry Correia Dillis, kick it over. I’m going to try and talk her into it on principle.

    *Damien Walter oh well. Larry’s opinions on genre have dried up. Good evening people, until next time.

    *Larry Correia My opinion on genre is who gives a fuck? I don’t care what genre any given book of mine is until it shows up in some on Amazon. Damien is picking at a mote in his eye as I brained him over the skull with a beam.

    But getting back to the fun part, this is the US legal definition of libel:

    “Libel occurs when a false and defamatory statement is published which tends to harm a person’s reputation or expose him or her to public hatred, contempt or ridicule. It is important to remember that defamation can be in many forms, including articles, headlines, advertising, letters to the editor, sports columns, drawings, opinions, outlines, and photographs.”

    Hell, attempting to damage reputations seems to be Damien’s job description.

    So yes,opinion still counts if it is false and defamatory. Damien admits it is false, and it is obviously defamatory. This is even cooler since he’s already demonstrated a pattern of lying and fabricating quotes for authors from this publishing house.

    *Larry Correia So Damien says science fiction isn’t a genre. The Encyclopedia Britannica, the entire publishing industry, and all of the world’s book retailers say that it is. Okay, glad we got that cleared up.

    But while Damien was straining at a gnat, he swallowed a camel. Even if Toni is too nice to sue, he just demonstrated to the world he is a liar, and had zero qualms about smearing someone’s character based upon his feelings rather than any objective facts.

    Now some people in the media can do that sort of thing and still have jobs, only those people are talented in a way that makes up for it. Damien has no talents.

    You know, I thought Damien was dumb. I mean really, he’s a terrible, clumsy, columnist, his points aren’t strongly made or persuasive, when they’re even rational enough to be considered a point that is, but I figured he was just run of the mill dumb. Not stupid enough to admit to criminal behavior on Facebook dumb. I was only joking about him being the Guardian’s Village Idiot. Little did I realize that I’d underestimated him.

    *Larry Correia Just sent to me by an English professor: “1. Darko Suvin. 1972. Science fiction is “a literary genre whose necessary and sufficient conditions are the presence and interaction of estrangement and cognition, and whose main formal device is an imaginative framework alternative to the author’s empirical environment.””

    And Damien is still a liar.

    *Larry Correia From a Marxist literary scholar: . SF is distinguished by the narrative dominance of a fictional novelty (novum, innovation) validated both by being continuous with a body of already existing cognitions and by being a “mental experiment” based on cognitive logic. From Metamorphoses In Science Fiction.

    Heh. Even Marxists think that scifi is a genre.

    *Brett Bowen So let me see if I follow.

    Damien wants a definition of Sci-Fi.
    Larry provides one from google as well as a definition of genre.

    Then Damien wants to know what’s the scientific knowledge in Star-Wars.
    Some various readers discuss futuristic scientific innivations…

    Damien then contends that Larry has presented no definitions of either “genre” or “sci-fi,” and begins all over again.

    Larry, et. al. attempt to move on, Damien runs away.

    Cool. I think I’m all caught up now.

    So, Larry Correia, allow me to express my disbelief that people like Damien actually exist. Most of the libprogs I talk to are dense, and I had just chalked this up to hyperbole. Lo and behold, Damien pops up to shows us whay it’s like to occupy the shallow end of the intellect pool.

    *Larry Correia Brett Bowen basically correct, but don’t forget the part where Damien admitted to being a liar.

    What you just saw was a bunch of deconstructionist nonsense and intellectual straw grasping over a quibble to avoid the actual topic of Damien Walter being a liar.

    1. What’s the scientific knowledge in Star Wars?

      Other than Death Stars, Star Destroyers, x-wings, y-wings, Imperial walkers, robots, mass cloning, lightsabers, laser rifles, planet-blowy-up-rays, and whatever the heck it was they did to turn Han Solo into a mud pie, you mean?

      Way more science in Star Wars than, say, Wakulla Springs or that (speaking of appalling prose) wretched dinosaur thing.

      1. Walter may be covering PC ass by asserting SF is not a genre. That means we can have all the gayful SFF-less SFF the PC require. The author of Hild recently posted on Charles Stross’s blog her SFF-less bi-sexual historical fiction belongs in the Nebulas because she’s an SFF fan. Of course in mandatory radfem stupidspeak she couldn’t argue for diversity without a shot a white men:

        “The world is changing. It no longer belongs to angry white boys sitting around in their white-wall buzz cuts eating white bread and watching Leave It To Beaver. (I’m not sure it ever did, but they certainly thought so.)”

        She forgot to racially profile me as eating fried chicken, okra and watermelons.

    2. So internet trolls (aka Damien) can get paid for their antics?

      He was using all the classic evasion, chaff and flare flinging methods used by trolls when they start getting called on their antics.

  29. I read through the facebook discussion. I held my tongue since he already skittered away believing himself victorious, like an Ironhide SCAdian.

    The whole Science in Star Wars distraction: Since when does he think he gets to set the topic of discussion? Science? Um, there are little Microscopic creatures called Midichlorians that give the infected near magical powers… unless you’re a slave-owning flying space jew like Watto. (Lucas has much to answer for.)

    Genre. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
    /Inigo Montoya

    If every single sentence in Toni’s piece bears out his lie, then why was it so hard for him to point out EVEN ONE? I mean, if they ALL said it, he could have picked the first one. Challenge Failed, Lie Compounded.

    Damian’s value to the Guardian is limited by the advertising money his click-bait brings in. Sue them, and his value goes negative and they drop him like a hot rivet. I say go for it.

    1. It would be easier to ask what isn’t science in Star Wars. Presumably he meant rationalized science, explained science, or maybe real science. But in SF that’s all bullshit anyway; some just looks a lot better than others.

      The movie has guns that shoot bottled kinetic plasma, kilometer-long starships that leap light years, androids, anti-gravity, molecular swords, hologram communication, an artificial moon, tractor beams, shifting anti-acceleration gravity fields, and to Walter that all equals William Morris cuz made up science about Ringworlds is the same as lake nymphs?

      It’s the same old habit the PC have of shrinking words and vocabulary, because they are semantic muttonheads who put 19 million words in Weisskopf’s mouth she never uttered and enrolled her in the KKK. The PC stipulate all SF is political. Well, if everything is political nothing is. We have this thing called English and there is no reason to rub down words until they become a meaningless Mayan hieroglyph found in the jungle we have to guess at. “Fantasy” doesn’t need to have 10 shadings that encompass “Doc” Smith and R.E. Howard. We can use 10 words instead. For some reason that rubs the PC’s limestone glyphs the wrong way and so the Big Bang produced the reality we live in called “genre.” And my car is a “genre” and so is my toilet paper and clouds.

      It’s typical the PC use a form of Newspeak and don’t know it.

      1. The PC stipulate all SF is political. Well, if everything is political nothing is.

        Indeed. The term is “expansion [of a definition] to insignificance,” the opposite of “reduction to absurdity.” For that matter, the claim that all human action is “political” ignores the reality that much human action is private, and much of this private action is politically-useless — it’s a claim made to let the pretentious claim that they are commiting actions of great political signficance by, say, eating broccoli instead of tomatoes.

  30. And for the record, I don’t know or care what Damien’s orientation is, though I’m willing to bet when the act is over there is a lot of weeping involved.

    In the realm of bitch-slaps, this is to gold what gold is to that stuff that accumulates under the rim of the toilet where no scrubber ever reaches. I laughed until I thought I’d puke. 😀

      1. I now want to write a story about a hive mind on a spaceship all of whose components spend most of their time masturbating.

    1. “Honey, normally I’d say something like ‘That happens to every man once in a while.’ but really, you just reached a whole new plateau of impotence. I don’t think I could bear to chance it again. Goodbye, and you can keep your money.”

  31. Okay.
    As a disclaimer I don’t do FB, twitter, and this post is as close to Social Media as I really ever want to come. But…. I clicked on Larry’s profile pic and it said 2,114 followers. To be fair, I clicked on Damien’s and…well, damn… 16 followers.
    I may not know much about Social Media, but I DO know when someone is fighting out of their weight class and getting the floor mopped with their face.

    1. Facebook followers are really a false metric, when all is said and done. It’s the sort of thing that I usually wouldn’t pay too much attention to. But having said that, if he really only has 16 followers…

      That’s odd.

      1. Of course, if he periodically makes the trek to Southern Thailand, he can find his dream non-binary-gendered playmates in abundance – you know the ones they call “Ladyboys.”

      2. As someone who’s been to Chiang Mai, I can tell you the place is crawling late at night with underage trans prostitutes and is famous for that and child prostitution. One exact quote shouted at me and my buddy one night went “Me half-boy, half-girl. You like me.” You don’t have to head south. Many people in fact head for Chiang Mai. There are a number of exposes on the subject that have been published in English-language Thai media.

      3. Heh, shows you what I know about Thai prostitution…. I don’t want to know how you know this. OTOH, It makes me suspicious about why he’s there.

        (is there some reference that shows he’s actually there?)

      4. You don’t want to know? It’s diabolical. Me and my buddy were walking down the street, minding our own business.

        And Walter mentions he’s there all the time. Look at his Twitter header.

  32. Just read the facebook comments. Wow. That guy is… I can’t even. I really hope she sues him just on principle. That dude badly needs to be knocked down a peg or two for his own good.

    He reminds me of those tiny dogs who yap and yap and pick fights with huge dogs, and it’s only the big dog’s better nature that keeps the little dog from getting himself mauled by his own stupidity.

    1. He reminds me of those tiny dogs who yap and yap and pick fights with huge dogs, and it’s only the big dog’s better nature that keeps the little dog from getting himself mauled by his own stupidity.

      The truth is, they count on that to keep them safe. Defending yourself is now ‘violence’ and ‘being a bully’ (see most school policies when someone fights back) Retaliation, no matter how righteous it is, is proof of how their victim is ‘evil’, even if the one who got punched in the face is the one who’s been slinging slander, verbal and moral poo. They get away with it too, because of the concept of shedding blood to redeem the honor of the insulted has been broad-brushed into being no different than honor killing. The tarnishing of one’s good name has been made, by large, a ‘petty’ thing and legal charges may have replaced the “them’s fighting words” the guttersnipe bullies know well they’re ‘safe’ because of the targets they pick (hence their cowardice and hiding behind false multiculturalism, as an example of the same.)

  33. Well done Larry and too bad you have to waste this much time and effort on a turd like him. But he DOES need to be called on his BS!

  34. Whenever I read one of Damien’s excreta I wonder how he got a column in a newspaper. Then, I remember it is in The Guardian and the world makes sense again.

  35. “There’s no such thing as genre” or “X isn’t a genre” is one of the stupidest things he wrote. (Admittedly, “genre is only bookstore marketing” is just as silly.)

    Here’s a good definition of what genre means in the modern context:

    A group of fictional works sharing common tropes, themes, and underlying assumptions.

    WTF? How hard is that?

    Some people like magic and monsters and quests (High Fantasy), some like magic and monsters and guns (Urban Fantasy), some like magic and monsters and lots of sex (Paranormal Romance)…

    And so it goes. This isn’t just marketing, it matters to the fans. I got really annoyed when I found out that a number of urban fantasy books that had been recommended to me were really Paranormal Romance. Eeeewwww! They are not meaningless, and they’re not limited to a bookstore shelf.

    I write fan material for a trans-genre game (Torg, aka “Storm Knights”), which requires that “genre” be something that players and GMs immediately understand, and more that they are familiar with a large number of genres, and what is right for each and what is not.

    “No cyberware in Middle Earth!” For obvious reasons. “Genre” is why.

    The game setting has a number of other worlds that invade the real world:

    Steampunk [Victoria]
    High Magic [Aysle]
    Cyber Religious [The Cyberpapacy]
    Technohorror [Tharkold]
    Pulp Supers [The Nile Empire]
    Cyberpulp [Kadandra]
    Martial Arts Technothriller [Nippon Tech]
    Lost Worlds [The Living Land]

    Each of those worlds reflects a genre, being specifically designed to allow for and support genre tropes, and the metaphysics of the game require that they stay somewhat separate. What is right for one world — laser guns or magic spells — isn’t right for another, and so often won’t function there.

    Genre is real. Real enough that it can be incorporated into an RPG and be used as the foundational principle in the metaphysics, the setting details, and gameplay.

    Screw you, Damien. You’re just wrong.

  36. There’s nothing new in what Walter did. Weisskopf sarcastically remarked the PC think the aching white racists they don’t like read too much Heinlein and the semantically handicapped Scalzi, writing from his great grass estate, translated that into the “Church of Heinlein,” presumably because he doesn’t understand the meaning of words. To do that he had to consult a race-gender identity chart and came up with Weisskopf’s piece being “passive aggressive xenophobia” cuz femsplaining.

    It’s worth noting that for people who think of themselves as free-thinking progressives, Scalzi listed SF writers in that post and finished it with Russ and Tiptree. He finished it with Russ and Tiptree because he worships at the Church of Butler – he had to – not because Russ and Tiptree merit such inclusion. It’s the salt in his rice. I can at least state for a fact no one reads Heinlein because he’s white or a man but because of what’s in his books. The PC can’t make that claim for themselves about Butler or Russ. The PC literally read race and gender, and talent and art are secondary.

    The Aussie knothead Foz Meadows reacted to Weisskopf by chanting a soothing shamanistic roll call of current saintly identity artifacts and relics Butlerian orthodoxy requires:

    “…where Tor Books is about to publish Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem, the first Chinese SF novel ever translated into English; where Japanese anime and manga have so long been staples of global fandom that it’s impossible to try and deny their relevance; where award-winning authors like Nnedi Okorafor, Aliette de Bodard and Helen Oyeyemi are writing (among other things) about cross-cultural politics through an SFFnal lens; where there are whole conventions dedicated to diversity and inclusivity, like WisCon and Nine Worlds; and where many of the field’s best writers are anything but straight, white and male;”

    Meadows finishes with an amen to ward off evil by suggesting Weisskopf doesn’t like SF “made accessible to more non-white, non-straight, non-male persons” cuz femsplaining.

    That’s the Church of Butler furnished with cant from the Ministry of Orwell where words are put to the question with red-hot intellects until they dive and jump like little Orwellian rats. Just as the Portuguese of Goa had to put salt in their rice or risk arrest, the PC make lists and Table of Contents which must include PoC and women while simultaneously make warding signs about “white cis dudes” or risk being cast out of the Church of Butler.

    It’s no coincidence completely different members of this cult talking about the same Weisskopf piece use the same keywords: “white, male,” “Le Guin or Russ,” “female & POC author” together with coming to the independent Leckian conclusion that racist Golden Age SF is “like being punched in the face while reading.” They forgot it’s also like being dragged behind a truck. These are people who will state right out that we use “words like ‘PC’ or ‘fuggheads’ to describe groups of people (e.g. women, people of colour, LGBTQIA folks)” cuz femsplaining.

    The PC write that stuff because it’s cant, rote and worship, not actual thinking. It’s the same frozen definitions behind the idea the dictionary has “white and male” next to “racist” and “sexist” by people who never shut up that the “white, male perspective” is us actually saying “‘masterful'”, “‘classic'” and “‘essential'” cuz femsplaining.

    In PC Newspeak disagreement is “conservative,” disagreeing with an insane feminist is “misogyny” and not pie-charting your comments by sprinkling in PoC and women is “exclusion.”

    If the PC aren’t some of the stupidest dumbfuck rednecks who ever formed a cult, I’d like to know who is.

    1. “where Japanese anime and manga have so long been staples of global fandom that it’s impossible to try and deny their relevance;”

      OMG has that fool ever seen what they do to women in anime?

  37. “infinities of inert matter ”

    Strangely enough, that’s exactly how I would describe the contents of Damien’s skull.

  38. Every time you he provokes you, you fisk him, driving traffic to his site, helping him with his editors.

    It is all about clicks – and your fisks drive his numbers up. Of course he wants the attention.

    Then absolute best thing to do is ignore him.

    Encourage your readers and visitors to NOT go to the Guardian article, and instead write directly to the Guardian editors with statements about factual accuracy and citations.

  39. “Dear Fox News: You are not a news source. You are a cult of racism and sexism and backward ‘thinking.'” – SFWA member Beth Bernobich

    I love it when the PC unwittingly describe themselves using using Orwellian backwardsspeak.

    Here’s more fun:

    “1. Beth Bernobich ‏@beth_bernobich Aug 29 And yet, do I have the right to write this book? At its center it’s about a woman reclaiming her life from war, from PTSD & losing her arm.

    2. Paul Weimer ‏@PrinceJvstin Aug 29 @beth_bernobich yes, you have the “right” to write the book, if you do it with care and well.

    3. Beth Bernobich ‏@beth_bernobich Aug 29 @PrinceJvstin I’m also thinking about me, a white woman, taking up space and stories that aren’t mine to tell.

    4. Paul Weimer ‏@PrinceJvstin Aug 29 @beth_bernobich well, I had a similar wondering post-Hugo awards about whether my voice in genre was worthless as another hetero white male

    5. Paul Weimer ‏@PrinceJvstin Aug 29 @beth_bernobich I was told in no uncertain terms that it was bollocks for me to think that way.

    6. Beth Bernobich ‏@beth_bernobich Aug 29 @PrinceJvstin Agreed w/ the bollocks. We just need to keep in mind our own privilege as we tackle the subjects.”

    Hahahahahahahahahahah. How about I write anything I want and anyone who wants to unilaterally set themselves up as the Pope for all gays, PoC or women eff the eff off?

    1. For some reason I always think of those PC race-sacks as being wheeled around on dollies on giant blocks of ice.

    2. I find it hilarious when PC idiots agonize over whether they have the “right” to write or think something. Short version: “Yes, you do. Because of that constitutional liberal democracy you despise. When it’s fallen, you won’t have your rights defended any more by anybody else.”

  40. Well, he’s at least encouraged me to pick up an Iain Banks book. Hippies with Guns…. it sounds like a universe full of Milo.

    1. It’s a universe where socialism “works” because, due to authorial fiat, machine gods provide for all the organic life-forms who are de facto pets of said gods. If you think about it, it’s a tacit admission that socialism can’t work absent nigh-omnipotent overseers.

      1. The reason “socialism” works in Banks novels is because the AIs that run the Culture have made manufactured goods about as expensive as water from a drinking fountain.

        In such an environment, there is no difference between Anarcho-Syndicalism and Anarcho-Capitalism. “Stuff” just isn’t important when you can use a brain implant to have anything you damned well want delivered to your door by some 1/10th human IQ robot who is overjoyed at the thought of being able to do something for someone.

        In his last two books, the two lone Libertarian AIs pretty much re-write the Culture’s consensus … Special Circumstances finally admits that some folks just need killin’, and cannot be coddled.

  41. His comments on Star Trek are even weirder when you look at the ‘supporting details’ he offers. It’s racist because the Klingons are Russian … so the producers disliked Caucasians? Romulans are “Oriental”? I was like 10 watching that show and couldn’t help notice the Romulan society was based on ancient Rome. Hell, even the names of their home planets was a Roman reference.

  42. “And for the record, I don’t know or care what Damien’s orientation is, though I’m willing to bet when the act is over there is a lot of weeping involved. .”

    Correia!!! You owe me a keyboard and monitor.

  43. “infinities of inert matter…”

    Ummm… no. We did NOT find an infinity of anything, because an actually infinite number of things does not exist in the real world, and if we ever did find such a thing, than the fact that the amount of energy you’d need as you approached the speed of light approaches infinity wouldn’t be a problem.

  44. Dear International Lord of Hate, and Confreres,

    Please keep writing great books, and fisking the idiots.

    As turn-about is fairplay…
    Their tears are delicious.


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