John W. Cambell Was a Fascist? A Puppy Kicker Kicks The Dead

I thought that the Sad Puppies were dead and that I would never have to do another post. But like Don Corleone, the puppy kickers keep dragging the Puppies back in. This blathering by noted puppy kicker Cory Doctorow is a case in point.

Read: Jeannette Ng’s Campbell Award acceptance speech, in which she correctly identifies Campbell as a fascist and expresses solidarity with Hong Kong protesters

The piece which is supposed to be celebrating Jeanete Ng’s winning of the John W. Campbell award, instead kicks the puppies one more time and then slanders one of the giants of Science fiction, John W. Campbell by calling him a fascist.

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Sad Puppies Will Not Die

Because the puppy kickers will not let it die. This piece is a case in point.

In September 2014, the sci-fi/fantasy world was rocked by revelations about the bizarre online past of a much-praised young author in the field, the Thai-born, Hong Kong-based Benjanun Sriduangkaew, one of that year’s finalists for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Sriduangkaew was outed as a notorious social justice “rage-blogger” known by the fitting moniker “Requires Hate” (a shortened version of the title of her blog, “This Requires Only That You Hate”), whose vitriol-soaked takedowns and callouts of “problematic” works and authors had sown fear in the SFF community since 2011. What’s more, Requires Hate also doubled as a prolific troll and cyberbully who mainly went by “Winterfox” but sometimes used other handles.

After several weeks of heated debates, a lengthy, detailed, carefully researched report on Sriduangkaew’s activities under her various aliases was posted by sci-fi writer Laura Mixon on her LiveJournal blog.

It makes for a hair-raising read. Requires Hate’s rants made Jeong’s tweets sound like drawing-room pleasantries. She frequently resorted to graphic threats of murder, rape, mutilation, acid attacks, and other extreme violence. Of American sci-fi novelist Paolo Bacigalupi, whom she blasted as a “raging racist fuck” and an “appropriative bag of feces,” she wrote, “If I see [him] being beaten in the street I’ll stop to cheer on the attackers and pour some gasoline on him,” and “Let him be hurt, let him bleed, pound him into the fucking ground. No mercy.” Irish-American author Caitlyn Kiernan was branded a “rape apologist” whose “hands should be cut off so she can never write another Asian character.”

According to Mixon, Sriduangkaew, often aided by her followers, had at various times tried to “suppress the publication of fiction and reviews” and get speakers disinvited from panels and readings; cyber-stalked sci-fi fans who had crossed her; “chased down positive reviews” in order to “frighten reviewers and fans away” from promoting works she disliked; and “single-handedly destroyed several online SFF, fanfic, and videogaming communities with her negative, hostile comments and attacks.” (All italics in the original.) Moreover, “At least one of her targets was goaded into a suicide attempt.”

Mixon’s post prompted many of Requires Hate’s victims—including some who were not named in the report, such as Canadian author J.M. Frey—to speak up in the comments. Their accounts were shocking, not only for what they revealed about Sriduangkaew’s behavior but for her targets’ reactions. Frey, whose award-nominated, well-reviewed 2011 debut novel Triptych was repeatedly trashed on the Requires Hate blog, wrote:

I nearly stopped writing when this happened. I shook every time I sat down to a keyboard. It took me 75 drafts to turn in a novel (with a [person of color] lead!) to my agent. I cried a lot. … When I saw her site’s links incoming in my website meta data I felt sick. I had to learn how to block them.

Mostly I’ve gotten over it, but every single time I sit down to write a new project, I have to give myself a pep talk about how I have to write what I want… I second guess everything I write now. I waffle, and bemoan, and I try to be good at representation and gender and sexuality in my books, but nobody is perfect and I feared, I genuinely feared putting more books out into the world because I was scared.

Frey also wrote that Requires Hate’s tirades made her scared of more than social disapproval. She began to avoid conventions, fearing that she would run into her tormentor and that the latter “would escalate from words to something horrible, something physical,” such as “come across a dance floor and hit me in the head with a beer bottle.”

Several other commenters also wrote that being targeted by Requires Hate and her minions affected them profoundly. Charles Terhune, an American sci-fi author, said that as a new writer just getting his start in the field, the experience left him “scarred and skittish for a long time”—and wary of “writing anything other than white male characters.” Colum Paget, an Irish writer who found himself on the receiving end of her invective, admitted that he “pretty much stopped writing because of it.”

https://quillette.com/2018/08/18/the-forgotten-story-of-how-punching-up-harmed-the-science-fiction-fantasy-world/

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What The Sad Puppies Were All About

Corey Doctorow had recent piece about how well the Hugo and World con people had beaten back the threat of the racist homophobic Sad Puppies and managed to award a stable of properly diverse people for the Hugo.

https://boingboing.net/2017/08/12/saddest-puppies.html

The fact is that it was an empty victory with the other side abandoning establishment Science Fiction and it’s fandom to it’s fate mostly out of disgust and frankly because we no longer cared about trying to save something so obviously sick and rotten.  Great folks, now you’ve won. Now watch Worldcon rapidly disintegrate as all the people who might have cared have been driven away by your boorishness.  Followed shortly thereafter by the last marketplaces for SF  writers as the publishers kill them because they don’t make money.  Or at least keep the budgets so low that authors can no longer make a living writing for an establishment house.  The houses that have to justify the celebrity advances that don’t pay back somehow.

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Jerry Pournelle, RIP

I found out this week that Jerry Pournelle had passed away after Dragoncon. There was almost nobody in my life that had a bigger impact.  My greatest regret is that I only met him personally once and was probably too much of a fanboy and made his hand sore when he signed all my books. That did lead though to a wonderful two hour or so conversation at jersey devil con.

My story with Jerry starts with high school in the 1970’s. Now the 1970’s were not a good time for technical minded kids who were trying find any optimism for the future.  As far as all the media was concerned, doom was coming. We all knew, because the experts told us, that Western civilization was hopeless, that we needed to become more sustainable, more socialized.

At a time when technical optimists were as scarce as hen’s teeth, at least in the public eye, Jerry was unabashedly that technical optimist.  I did a post about  A Step Farther Out when I started this blog and how relevant it still remains today.

https://theartsmechanical.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/stepping-farther-out/

At a time when the language of the day all across the media was how we were all DOOMED, DOOMED by the monsters of our own creation and that there was nothing that could be done to save us.  Even the best stuff in media, like the classic series Connections was mildly pessimistic. Contrast that with any column in A Step Farther Out. 

Consider this column from 1974,on the fact that once you get to orbit you are halfway to anywhere:
https://archive.org/details/Galaxy_v34n07_1974-04

Along with a discussion of laser launching spacecraft.  This, in a time when the average science program on TV was pure hokum.  with Leonard Nimoy talking about ancient aliens and other nonsense.  As far as science goes, the 1970’s were the crazy years.  We haven’t recovered fully. The idea that that was a way out, any way out, was heady stuff for a fifteen year old. Which was when I first encountered it.

Not that Jerry didn’t know about the possibility of a more Orwellian future.  You can see that in his 1970’s fiction, like Exiles To Glory.

https://archive.org/details/Galaxy_v38n07_1977-09?q=that+buck+rogers+stuff+pournelle

He thought though that, that people wouldn’t just collapse into a series of unending ghettos and endless tyranny.  he thought that people would use the skill and minds, the technologies that humans had created to overcome the problems we had.  He never accepted that we would just surrender and mostly die. he was also optimistic that with a little more oomph people would reach for the stars and create wealth for all.

We never got the Jerry Pournelle future of the 1970’s. Considering some of the downers in that future and that it consisted, in part, of the McGovernites taking over. that was a good thing. Not that he cared. He continued to advocate for that future because he believed in it. He formed the presidential committee for  space(Whatever it was really called, I don’t feel like looking it up.  I don’t think we appreciated just how much impact that had until the Reagan administration ended.  The sad part is just how much the Bureaucracy in aviation has turned the industry into more or less static version of itself.  I don’t think that anybody in the 1960’s would have believed that the aircraft flying in 2017 would be essentially the same aircraft of 1969. That happens in technology.

Jerry moved on. though and became the reporter and advocate for a new technology that emerged in the late 1970’s.  That was the small computer.  He started his columns in Byte magazine and recorded his adventures with Zeke and his frustrations with an infant technology that then was on the brink of so much potential, but back when jerry started was essentially the province of teenagers with the technological maturity to match. Very few people understood the potential for what those machines could do.  Jerry did and may have been one of the first to actually get useful work from one of them and write about actually using the machines, rather than just geeking off about them.  It was because of Jerry that I bought my first computer and was willing to put up with the frustrations that those early machines had. It’s hard to remember just how user unfriendly those early machines were.

The downside of Jerry playing around with computers was that he wrote less Science fiction   as the years went by.  I still want to more Jannisaries and Codominium stories and now they will never be finished. I understand the economics of being paid far more for playing around with small computers and writing about it for a million subscribers and how addictive small computers are.  I know that one all to well, especially after the internet.  It was one thing to write about the information superhighway before it happened.  Jerry did that.  Then he lived on it, writing his blog and entertaining us for some 25 years or so.

I will miss Jerry. I only met him once and I wish that I had had the gumption and courage to make Jerry’s future happen It didn’t. which says perhaps more about ourselves and our inability to face the our fears,  We may be one step from doom, but we are also one step from glory.  That is what Jerry Pournelle wrote about.  He looked at all the crybabies and doomsayers of that horrible period in the 1970’s and said “We don’t need to go down if we don’t want to.” Maybe not in those exact words but look at A Step farther out and the rest and tell me that I’m wrong. Here’s some more links about Jerry.

As was typical his last post was trying to find solutions to thorny problems.

https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/dreamers/

Here’s a post I did with Jerry talking to some people

https://theartsmechanical.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/a-few-talks-with-jerry-pournelle/#more-28075

And some other’s people’s goodbyes.

Possible Futures

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/09/11/science-fiction-writer-jerry-pournelle-offered-fact-based-hope-future-glenn-reynolds-column/651515001/

https://io9.gizmodo.com/rip-jerry-pournelle-a-tireless-ambassador-for-the-futu-1803143871

https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2017/09/09/farewell-friend-jerry-pournelle-1933-2017/

http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/science-fiction-titan-jerry-pournelle-dies-at-84

http://file770.com/?p=37644

http://www.superversivesf.com/2017/09/10/jerry-pournelle-may-wings-made-tungsten/

http://www.castaliahouse.com/guest-post-by-karl-gallagher-a-titan-passes/

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/09/science-fiction-author-jerry-pournelle-has-died.html

http://www.weeklystandard.com/writing-the-future/article/2009781

Tit For Tat

A long time ago the late Steven Den Beste stopped posting on USS Clueless because he couldn’t take the stress anymore and anyway posting on anime was more fun.  The Conservative political world lost a great thinker and his posts are still relevant.  Anyway, he was posting about somebody commenting about one of his long dead posts and thinking that it should be changed on his anime blog here.

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