nelc: (Default)
I've been trying to find a way to sum up the spectacular and joyous collision that is the Rabid Puppy/Chuck Tingle/Hugo affair for my avid followers (maybe one person) who might not already know what it's all about, but I think the Guardian has done a fair job of it:

From the Guardian:

For the second year running, campaign group Rabid Puppies has dominated the Hugo shortlists, encouraging its supporters to block-vote for specific titles and authors that they believe have been overlooked because of leftwing bias in science fiction publishing. The vast majority of the “slate” recommended by blogger Vox Day ended up with a Hugo nomination – including, on the best short story ballot, Space Raptor Butt Invasion by one Chuck Tingle.

Tingle’s presence shifted the dynamic of the post-Hugo discussions. Wasn’t his placing on the best of the best of science fiction list indicative of the Rabid Puppies’ true motivations, people asked: not to reward “better” writing, but to simply destroy the Hugos’ reputation? The presence of the author behind titles such as Helicopter Man Pounds Dinosaur Billionaire Ass and My Ass Is Haunted By the Gay Unicorn Colonel does somewhat detract from the grand stature of the Hugos. It’s easy to see why the Rabid Puppies would nominate Tingle; when a tingler appeared on the ballot, they must have had conniptions.
nelc: (Default)
On the blog of that prolix Puppy John C Wright, he presents the Joe Doakes challenge: presenting two lists of Hugo winners from 1953–73 and 1995–2015, Wright asks that we rate the novels on the two lists according to a heavily-Puppified list of criteria (e.g. "How many are larded with a pretentious but sophomoric profundity or attempted relevance by presenting heavy-handed message fiction rather than science fiction.")

Well, I'm not having anything to do with that, so I'm just going to list those I've read:

1953 Alfred Bester: THE DEMOLISHED MAN
1955 Mark Clifton & Frank Riley: THEY’D RATHER BE RIGHT (aka THE FOREVER MACHINE)
1956 Robert A. Heinlein: DOUBLE STAR
1958 Fritz Leiber: THE BIG TIME
1959 James Blish: A CASE OF CONSCIENCE
1960 Robert A. Heinlein: STARSHIP TROOPERS
1961 Walter M. Miller, Jr.: A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ
1962 Robert A. Heinlein: STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND
1963 Philip K. Dick: THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE
1964 Clifford D. Simak: HERE GATHER THE STARS (aka WAY STATION)
1965 Fritz Leiber: THE WANDERER
1966 Frank Herbert: DUNE
(tied with) Roger Zelazny: …AND CALL ME CONRAD (aka THIS IMMORTAL)
1967 Robert A. Heinlein: THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS
1968 Roger Zelazny: LORD OF LIGHT
1969 John Brunner: STAND ON ZANZIBAR
1970 Ursula K. Le Guin: THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS
1971 Larry Niven: RINGWORLD
1972 Philip José Farmer: TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO
1973 Isaac Asimov: THE GODS THEMSELVES

1995 Lois McMaster Bujold: MIRROR DANCE
1996 Neal Stephenson: THE DIAMOND AGE
1997 Kim Stanley Robinson: BLUE MARS
1998 Joe Haldeman: FOREVER PEACE
1999 Connie Willis: TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG
2000 Vernor Vinge: A DEEPNESS IN THE SKY (Tor)
2001 J. K. Rowling: HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE
2002 Neil Gaiman: AMERICAN GODS
2003 Robert J. Sawyer: HOMINIDS
2004 Lois McMaster Bujold: PALADIN OF SOULS
2005 Susanna Clarke: JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL
2006 Robert Charles Wilson: SPIN (Tor)
2007 Vernor Vinge: RAINBOWS END (Tor)
2008 Michael Chabon: THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN’S UNION
2009 Neil Gaiman: THE GRAVEYARD BOOK
2010 Paolo Bacigalupi: THE WINDUP GIRL*
tied with China Miéville: THE CITY & THE CITY
2011 Connie Willis: BLACKOUT/ALL CLEAR
2012 Jo Walton: AMONG OTHERS (Tor)
2013 John Scalzi: REDSHIRTS (Tor)
2014 Ann Leckie: ANCILLARY JUSTICE
2015 Cixin Liu: THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM (Tor)

*Never finished it.

I note in passing that Wright has helpfully marked the books published by Tor, about which I can only say that if Tor has been secretly controlling the Hugos for the last few decades, they seem to have done a remarkably poor job of handing themselves the glittering prizes.

There's a couple of novels in the later list I intend to read at some point; I shall probably pass on the Blackout/All Clear pair (I read the reviews), and I may at some point get around to reading some Bujold; I don't know anything about Hominids.

Okay, I'll say this about the Challenge Wright presents: that the character of the winners from the two periods is different should not be surprising to anyone who is at all literate. In lit-fic and other genres the books of the sixties/seventies are different from those from the last couple of decades. The taste of the reading public has changed, society has changed, history has had more stuff happen, a generation or two of readers have died and been replaced.

Puppies can buy what they like, and read what they like, and praise it to the skies or damn it to the depths of hell for all I care; I only wish they would extend me and the other Worldcon fans the same courtesy.
nelc: (Brain)
Blogger, File770 commenter and morlock, Camestros Felapton lays out his model of Distressed Puppy behaviour here, with a follow-up here.

tl;dr — Nothing personal, it's just business.

Ugh!

Jun. 30th, 2015 05:14 pm
nelc: Bob Howard from the cover of The Fuller Momorandum (Bob)
Stayed up all night, then crashed at around 9:00am. Woke up about a half-hour ago, had a cup of tea. Mouth now feels a little less like something crawled into it and died.

Didn't stay up for any good reason, mind you. I was fiddling with the new edition of the DAZ3D Studio software (which is free here, incidentally, if anyone feels like taking the plunge into 3D artwork (but it's the models that cost)), which produces some beautiful renders, but on default settings take so long even with this relatively whizzy (well, relative to my old PPC) Mac mini. This simple composition:

 photo V7_2_1 640px_zps7zzl9stj.png

took something like an hour to render.

(Bizarrely (to me, anyway), from watching a tutorial I discovered that the "DAZ" in "DAZ3D" is apparently pronounced "dawz" and not, well, like the soap powder:



"Dahz" I could understand, but "dawz"? I'm now wondering how to pronounce the "Daw" in "Daw Books". (No, I'm not going to rewrite those in phonetic type.))

So I was listening to podcasts while waiting for the renders — none of which I can remember now — and reading File770's Puppy/Hugo round-up in real time as various US timezones phased in and out of their pre-bedtime commenting periods. The one good bit of that was the History on the Really Retro Hugos, summarised here on Simon Bucher-Jones's blog.
Sadly, no records whatsoever have survived from UrCon (ca. 13.8 gigayears Before Present Era). From what little physical evidence has survived, we can surmise that one of the events was some sort of fireworks display that got exceedingly out of hand. [..]

The award itself dates back to 1197 and Bishop Hugo de Rainault (brother of the then Sherrif of Nottingham) who it will be remembered offered ‘a mighty prize for the most puissant account of how yon addlepate knave Robin Earle yclept Loksley might best be set about his heels.’ [..] The original silver arrow has now become over time the stylised ‘rocket robin hood’ shape of the current award.


I also realised that the commenter Brian Z over there is almost certainly the alien Rorschach from Peter Watts' Blindsight (also available free, here*), with no real understanding of the symbols he is manipulating. Whether the entity behind him is self-aware is another matter.

Despite my missing the greater part of the day, the sun is still shining, and I have an urge to put my shorts and sandals on and go for a stroll. I may be some time. Like an hour or so.

*Though bear in mind James Nicoll's assessment of Peter Watts' authorial viewpoint: "Whenever my urge to live becomes too strong, I read Peter Watts."
nelc: (neon)
More Sad & Rabid Puppy filk from Kyra:
I met a traveller from an antique con
Who said: `Two sad and rabid slates of prose
Stand in the Hugos. Near them, on the lawn,
Half drunk, a group of voters lie, whose pose,
And angered quips – except at works withdrawn –
Tell that their votes would not by slates be led,
And yet survive, stamped on an online form,
The posts that mocked them and the works they read.
And on the pedestal these words appear —
“My name is Puppymandias, so conform:
Vote for my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. When votes were scored
For that colossal slate, with room to spare,
The lone and sole result was No Award.’
nelc: (Default)
Long list here.

Highlights:

  • Best Novel: TIE: The City & The City, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK); The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)
  • Best Novella: “Palimpsest”, Charles Stross (Wireless; Ace, Orbit)
  • Best Novelette: “The Island”, Peter Watts (The New Space Opera 2; Eos)
  • Best Graphic Story: Girl Genius, Volume 9: Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm Written by Kaja and Phil Foglio; Art by Phil Foglio; Colours by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
  • Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Moon Screenplay by Nathan Parker; Story by Duncan Jones; Directed by Duncan Jones (Liberty Films)
  • Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who: “The Waters of Mars” Written by Russell T Davies & Phil Ford; Directed by Graeme Harper (BBC Wales)
  • Best Fan Writer: Frederik Pohl

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