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 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.
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.
at 07:24 on 29-04-2014, Michal
Even better, here's a screencap.

(Yes he used the word "moiety." And "jihad.")
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.
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?
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".)
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.
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.
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.
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.

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:
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.
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.
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.
at 18:32 on 21-04-2014, Adrienne
Natalie Luhrs also has a good reaction post over at the Radish.
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.
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.
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.
at 10:27 on 21-04-2014, Adrienne
I am also considering grabbing a supporting membership to vote, this year. Not that I can do anything about Best Novel -- Ancillary Justice deserves it, but fucking Wheel of Time is going to nail it, for all our sins -- but there are several other categories in which I'd like to be a drop in the bucket.
at 10:16 on 21-04-2014, Adrienne
Tamara, I think Scalzi's post about this over at Whatever (and the conversation in the comments, at least the non-stupid part of that conversation) make a valuable counterpoint to your argument. :) Not that your perspective isn't valid -- it is OFFENSIVE to me that people are doing this bullshit, and i think Correia and Beale are both loathesome human beings -- but the Hugos have survived a lot of bullshit and they will survive this.

Also, Kameron Hurley (who has been nominated for two Hugos, herself -- one for best fan writer and one for best related work) has a great post about it here with yet another perspective.
at 09:36 on 21-04-2014, Tamara
I don't see whether they win or not being the issue at all. I don't think for a moment that they will, and I don't think Vox et al particularly expect to win. Nor will it be a 'victory' for the rest of us if they end up placing below "no award" or coming dead last (which I'm pretty sure they will) or anything. No, this round is to them. They made the point they wanted to make and got the attention they wanted to get, with much more success than they deserve.
at 09:18 on 21-04-2014, Adrienne
Also note that while Hugo nominations go by simple plurality, Hugo awards use instant-runoff voting, which is much harder to game. So on the downside, some awesome shit got left off the ballot because Correia and Beale are assholes; but on the upside, they'll find it's much harder to actually win than it is to be nominated.