Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 19:24 on 05-05-2014, Ibmiller
So, NBC is apparently jumping on the Black Sails bandwagon this summer with Crossbones. Which I'll probably watch instead because the pilot of Black Sails was so achingly poorly written and miscast. Which is a shame, since I really like Toby Stephens. Though John Malkovich as Blackbeard (Whitegoatee?) is probably also miscast, this time it's much more likely to be hilariously so. With the added bonus of Richard Coyle and Claire Foy!
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at 05:31 on 03-05-2014, Adrienne
Moiety is actually a great word, and a really useful anthropological concept. Wright is ... not using it particularly well, there.
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at 05:14 on 01-05-2014, Janne Kirjasniemi
bullet-riddled former monsters

That would make a good name for a band.
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at 22:42 on 30-04-2014, Axiomatic
Oh, and on the subject of Larry Correia, he's a man whose politics and mine shall never, ever meet on any subject, ever, but got damn if the man can't write a fun book.

I mean, it'll be a book about COURAGEOUS PRIVATE ENTERPRISE sticking it to the EVIL GOVERNMENT WHICH WANTS TO TAKE AWAY OUR GUNS, but it will also have amazing scenes where people fire fully automatic shotguns at vampires.

I guess I like Correia because his books basically lack any and all pretension. He's not Terry Goodkind, convinced he's writing deep and meaningful stuff. He's here to tell you an exciting yarn with lots of explosions and people getting punched, and the only moral lesson is that shooting vampires is AWESOME.

I mean, if you scratch a bit deeper, you start asking yourself questions like "Why are you talking about how the free market is so much better at killing vampires than the government is, when literally the only reason Monster Hunters Inc. makes any money at all is because the government is forced to pay them bounties for every monster they kill?"

But you're really not supposed to ask stuff like that. The government agents are meanies because they're government agents, our heroes are awesome and independent because they're heroes, and ancient monsters become bullet-riddled former monsters because guns are awesome.
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at 22:34 on 30-04-2014, Axiomatic
Hey, moiety is a nice word! It means, uh, a society of those bug-headed women from Perdido Street Station.
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at 19:54 on 29-04-2014, James D
My favorite part is when asked to be more specific regarding his claims, such as that SFWA are "a mob of perpetually outraged gray-haired juveniles" who have made "organized attempts to harass [his] readers and hurt [his] sales figures," he not only refuses, but twists his vagueness into a virtue.

Several people, both publicly and privately, have asked me for the details of my claims, to name the events and persons involved.

I politely but firmly decline to do so since some of the names are those I have worked with in the past and might work with in the future, men whose work I read with pleasure and admiration, and I seek no public shame to visit them.

Such is the courtesy which, at one time, one professional expected from another. I find it sad that I am required to explain it.

So trying back up your sweeping claims is sadly unprofessional, but the juvenile name-calling aimed at the SFWA leadership isn't? This is 1984-level doublethink here, folks.
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at 07:24 on 29-04-2014, Michal
Even better, here's a screencap.

(Yes he used the word "moiety." And "jihad.")
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at 06:24 on 29-04-2014, Adrienne
Michal, do you have a link? i'm sure he resigned because it's a hotbed of liberal pinko commies or something but i'm curious.
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at 03:12 on 29-04-2014, Michal
Oh hey, J*hn C. Wr!ght apparently resigned from the SFWA today. Who'd a thunk it?
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at 00:15 on 29-04-2014, Arthur B permalink
at 17:34 on 28-04-2014, Arthur B
Gotta say, I'd be more impressed by VD's efforts if he'd got onto the Hugo Ballot in a year which actually meant something. (I have this mental image of him breaking into the 1963 ballot and upsetting everyone by referring to a certain other nominated work as a "delightful utopia".)
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at 17:00 on 28-04-2014, Michal
I am now of the view that the only good that will come from this year's Hugos are some snarky reviews. VD wanted in on the ballot solely to upset people (and Correia put him there for the same reason), not to win, not even to prove the Hugos are "just a popularity contest" like he & Correia claim, because everyone already knew that.

VD has proven that you can indeed gain success and notoriety solely by shitting in other people's breakfast. He is a thoroughly mediocre artist and would have never gained a large following otherwise.
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at 07:12 on 25-04-2014, James D
I'm sure his supporters care far more about his message than his writing quality; that sort of attitude seems rather common in the far right. I mean, Terry Goodkind can't write for shit and yet he's famous as hell.

I don't agree with their views but I have to admire their ability to mobilize support - to me the fact that VD got nominated seems like less of a knock against the tactics he used and more a of a knock against the complacency of the rest of the fanbase.
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at 02:41 on 25-04-2014, Adrienne
Hah! I remember the Mormon space whale rape story! I actually just saw some new snark about it the other day (rehash of the old snark, mostly). It was a terrible story, but it doesn't surprise me that VD's is worse. The man's blog posts are turgid and unreadable.
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at 18:07 on 24-04-2014, Michal
I have read the story in question.

I don't know if anyone remembers the snark directed at the Hugo-nominated Mormom space whale rape story a few years ago...but that story was significantly better than VD's novelette.

Nothing. Happens. It's a set of religious dialogues thinly cloaked in a story, only most of the dialogues are missing, and what is there reads like someone trying to imitate Augustine and Thomas Aquinas and completely failing because, well, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas were highly intelligent and very clear writers while VD isn't. So instead we get stuff that reads like Friar Tuck's troll logic in The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, only Friar Tuck's troll logic was meant to be a joke.

Blech.
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at 13:57 on 24-04-2014, Adrienne
James Hogan is dead -- has been for a few years now -- so I'd be impressed if he were patent trolling at this point.

In re the Hugo nominations, here's a delightful review of the nominated VD novella: http://secritcrush.livejournal.com/485664.html
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at 23:35 on 22-04-2014, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Michal, I think you should handle this the way I handle all my disagreements I have over the Internet with people I owe money to: send a polite email requesting that they fight you IRL. Works wonders.

Also, I thought that name was "James Hogan," which was a bit surprising (though not as surprising as reading his bio). Still, that's only half as good as the moment I typed "James Logan" into Google and began wondering whether Wolverine had invented podcasting during Claremont's run or Morrison's.
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at 21:19 on 21-04-2014, Adrienne
Robinson L, it goes back several years in some form. I'll try to track you down a concise link, because a lot of it is VERY Inside Baseball.

Correia isn't in the same league as VD -- no one is -- but he's a wingnut, he says vile things on a pretty regular basis, and he's been insisting for a couple years now that the Hugos are CONTROLLED! BY! EVIL! LEFTISTS! and worthy works (like his, natch) can't possibly win since they're not PC enough.
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at 20:30 on 21-04-2014, Robinson L
I only barely remember this stuff about the logrolling campaign - would anyone care to refresh my memory?

Also, can someone give me the lowdown on Larry Correia? I know (enough of) Vox Day's story from previous Playpen discussions. Correia, on the other hand, I know mostly from discussion of his work (and one guest appearance on the Writing Excuses podcast; given the venue and what I've heard about him on it, I would have him pegged as someone who probably has some opinions I find abhorrent, but not necessarily as a wingnut on the order of Mr. Beale.
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at 18:32 on 21-04-2014, Adrienne
Natalie Luhrs also has a good reaction post over at the Radish.
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at 18:18 on 21-04-2014, Michal
I suspect that ranking the works on the "sad puppy ballot" below No Award will be spun to prove that Hugo voters are voting on political lines rather than literary merit, thus proving it's a leftist thing that only goes to "message fic" like, uh, Redshirts.
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at 12:28 on 21-04-2014, Tamara
It just looks to me like Hurley and Scalzi are both trying to find a silver lining, or say that it doesn't really matter. Which, of course, it doesn't, in the grand scheme of things - but in the very tiny teacup of people who care about the Hugos? I think it's a big deal.
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at 10:31 on 21-04-2014, Adrienne
Also, Tamara, I haven't forgotten your earlier question about things I find traumatic, in fiction -- it's just a slightly hard one to answer, and I'm always struggling with how best to explain it to people.
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