Archive for April, 2015

secret blog sale (sticky post)

There are a lot of new visitors here over the last week, and almost all of you are here for the Hugo Awards gaming/Sad Puppies articles. And that’s great – welcome!

But I am a musician, after all, so how about a welcome present. First: all pay things on Bandcamp are 25% off with this checkout code:

     happybird2015

That includes all music, and both Free Court of Seattle novels in paperback, which I can stock and sell via arrangement with the author.

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i bet you didn't see this coming

Let’s talk about ZARDOZ.

No, really. I mean it. ZARDOZ. More-infamous-than-famous John Boorman 1970s SF movie, a miscast Sean Connery, a wardrobe director presumably still on the run from Fashion Interpol, a giant flying stone head, ZARDOZ.

I’ve seen ZARDOZ a few times, as a bad film fan. And like most everyone who sees it, I laughed like a hyena. But… after seeing it a couple of times, I began to realise that underneath a lot of garbage… it’s not that bad a film. Yes, the wardrobe designer committed a great many sins; the decision to throw Sean Connery into safety-orange bandoliers certainly makes a statement, and that statement is, “you cannot stop laughing at Sean Connery in safety-orange bandoliers.” And yes, even aside from that, there’s a lot of 70s bullshit floating around.

But underneath all that, there are some interesting sciffy concepts being played with here, many but not all having to do with a society of immortals who survived the apocalypse but were forced to watch it and can’t deal with the combination of survivor’s guilt and boredom, and, along the way, what they then do with the survivors around them.

You can start to pick out that there’s a plan, in other words – both by characters and director – and you can start to pick at some of the weird philosophy being thrown around. There’s still a lot of affectation, and the ending is pretty incoherent, but you can see the bones of something in that wreckage.

Then Minion Paul dug out this, and gave it to me:

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what in the depths…

…of your stupidity do you Puppies want from me? Clear warning labels on anything which might have Teh Gay, apparently. Or on anything with deviation from Puppy Gender Roles, or, maybe, on anything they might find philosophically discomforting. (But wait, I thought “SJW”s being “too sensitive” was part of the problem? Oh, right, that’s other people, they don’t count.)

From a February discussion of what’s wrong wrong wrong with SF, on Puppy leader Brad Torgersen’s blog:

Stephen J. says:

“I for one would find it helpful if you would cite a specific novel that you see as having been deceptively packaged.”

The first example that comes to mind is Mercedes Lackey’s The Last Herald-Mage trilogy. Now this may perhaps not convince, as it is (a) quite old at this point — the books having been published in 1989, 1990 and 1991 — and (b) the “deception” is mostly a matter of omission rather than active misrepresentation, and furthermore an omission that is not necessary for people who had read Lackey’s first Heralds trilogy and recognized the protagonist Vanyel Ashkevron from that first series’ backstory. Nonetheless, I think it is significant that neither the books’ covers, nor any of the back-of-the-book summaries — the stuff, in short, that usually gets the browsing reader to pick up a paperback and buy it — mentions what is usually considered the most “important” aspect of Vanyel’s life story: the fact that he is gay. And it is not until the reader is at least 40% into the first book, and hopefully already well-engaged by the story, that this revelation is made not only about the character but to the character; in other words, the story is structured to draw readers in and then surprise them with that element, in such a way that I cannot help but think (though this is admittedly unproveable) it was deliberately designed to reach audiences who would not have bought the book if they had known about the hero’s sexuality right up front. It also seems plausible, to me at least, that given the high proportion of teenage readers of SF/F in any given decade, books which did not alert people who glanced at them on a desktop or shelf about content that might upset parents were also appreciated.

Screen capture here, in case somebody thinks I’m making this shit up.

Thanks to Nick Mamatas for finding and pointing this out.

You also have John C. Wright saying, as far as I can tell, that having a transgendered character exist at all in Magic: The Gathering counts as deceptive. (Here’s the story about her.) Also, you have “BikerDad” saying that he was mislead by a cover and a blurb he missed part of when skimming, so, I guess, if you have to read all the words in the blurb, that’s deceptive too?

Here’s another one from the first commenter. I don’t really want to pick on one person, but he’s just got it all. Damn those trixy, trixy authors, writing about things that aren’t obvious in the first chapter!

Stephen J. says:

For another more recent series which might be accused of concealing a message until the reader is hopefully too entangled in the story to turn away, I’d suggest Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. What begins as initially a cool young-adult peregrination adventure through a steampunk world, and later various multiple worlds, winds up culminating in an author tract against religion in general and Christianity in the specific, to such a degree that several people I’ve read who had no disagreement with the content of that message nonetheless felt Pullman’s heavy-handedness about it had spoiled the story. And as with Lackey above, the fact that this thematic and philosophical message is (in hindsight) clearly intentional all along, yet not explicitly manifested until the reader is well drawn in, suggests a certain degree of deliberate disingenuousness on the author’s part designed to “catch” readers who might not normally have been drawn by that story.

(Screencapture, as before.)

It’s worth nothing that these (and there are more) all come from Brad’s semi-infamous “Unreliable packaging” post, where one of the great Puppy complaints is quite literally that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Take it, Brad:

A few decades ago, if you saw a lovely spaceship on a book cover, with a gorgeous planet in the background, you could be pretty sure you were going to get a rousing space adventure featuring starships and distant, amazing worlds. If you saw a barbarian swinging an axe? You were going to get a rousing fantasy epic with broad-chested heroes who slay monsters, and run off with beautiful women. Battle-armored interstellar jump troops shooting up alien invaders? Yup. A gritty military SF war story, where the humans defeat the odds and save the Earth. And so on, and so forth.

These days, you can’t be sure.

I’m not the first to talk about this; I won’t be the last. But I haven’t just gone out and posted about it before, because normally, when I post, I want to provide some analysis. But I can’t. It’s just so damned stupid.

Except for one thing.

To my mind, what they’re really saying here, in these comments, is that they don’t want to have to consider the possibility that works about people and ideas they don’t like even exist. That in and of itself is too great a burden to bear, and constitutes SJW’s Destroying SF.

They’re complaining about needing to filter works in order to avoid stories that include us, and that this filtering process is just too difficult, and by god, they’re mad as hell about it, and aren’t going to take it anymore.

Arguably, I already said that, when I said it’s “just so damned stupid.” But it’s also lazy. And, I think, most of all – it’s deeply, profoundly, petulant.

Way to live down to antique stereotypes, guys. Well done.
 


This is part of a series of posts on the “Sad Puppy” gaming of 2015 Hugo Award nominations.

eta: Welcome, Arthur Chu fans! Despite all the Puppies posts lately, I’m actually a geek musician. You can listen to our new neo-Celtic fantasy novel soundtrack album by hitting play on the gadget in the upper left, or pick individual tracks on Bandcamp.

Also, we’re having a Welcome All Zerg Rushers discount as a welcome present. Thanks for stopping by, and, again, welcome!

some evolving strategies

Before getting to it – welcome, Freethought, Making Light, and John Scalzi readers! I don’t think I’ve ever had so busy a Sunday before, and suddenly Monday is getting quite lively as well. I’ve got a new album on the left; you can hit play while you read, if you like.

I’ve seen some possible evolution of strategy from a few of the major Puppies over the last few days. One is pretty minor: letter-writing campaigns against writers who write about Puppies in ways they dislike. A second involves the use of endorsements and/or slates as sabotage. The third… well, we’ll get there.

First, John C. Wright has reposted the contents of his original hate-post about Legend of Korra and Korrasami. You remember, the one about worshipping the filthy phallic idol of sodomy, and all that.

Now that’s interesting, because at the same time, he’s tripling-down on the quoting-me-is-libel shtick that he threw at me, demanding this time that Popular Science fire a writer for talking about his post in ways Mr. Wright doesn’t like.

His main complaint seems to be that Mike VanHelder said Mr. Wright called LBGT people and allies “disgusting, limp, soulless sacks of filth,” when he only meant two people in particular, those being DiMartino and Konietzko, who… happen to be allies. As Mr. Wright proceeds to document. That would mean they are therefore part of that set of people, a.k.a. allies.

Apparently, this distinction – subset vs. set – is libel in Mr. Wright’s mind. Accordingly, he’s rallying his troops to write both Popular Science and their parent corporation, and demand Mr. VanHelder be dismissed.

Mr. Wright, this is not how libel works either. But by invoking libel in campaigns against other writers, we’re seeing a shift. GamerGate activists have done a lot of the same sorts of things: write about our movement in ways we don’t like, no matter how truthfully, and we will declare “libel” and retaliate. Fortunately, it’s not the same degree of retaliation – no rape-and-death-threats that I know of – but it’s still an interesting parallel.

And hey, look, everyone’s favourite racist Vox Day is targeting the same writer, for different but similar reasons. He, too, is crying libel, and he, too, has a letter-writing campaign started against Mr. VanHelder.

Is this coordinated? I don’t know, but the timing is noteworthy. Vox’s assertions include, and I quote, “Gamergate is not anti-feminist” – a comment too laughable to answer, given that it has been virulently so from the start – and “neither Sad Puppies nor Rabid Puppies courted any assistance from GamerGate.” This is demonstrably false, as has been noted many times.

Either way, it’s a strategy; co-ordinated “independent” complaint campaigns look larger than single campaigns, and targeting specific writers could be effective. Make an example or two, maybe people don’t want to write about you in ways you dislike anymore.

Vox also comment-posted an endorsement of The Three-Body Problem on File 770, saying it would’ve been on his Puppies slate had he known about it in time. (The Three-Body Problem was added to the Hugo shortlist after a previous Puppies nominee withdrew over the slate balloting, joining several others who have withdrawn.)

I can’t help but see this as a possible test of strategy, too: one of sabotage. “Oh, a non-Puppy work got elevated to the shortlist. I’ll endorse it and quasi-assign it to my ballot, retroactively, and see what happens.”

I still assert that voting NO AWARD above all slate nominations is the best strategy this year, because all slates must be refuted, regardless of origin. But we know from several sources that the Puppies tend to repeat this insanity again next year, again for political reasons. Vox has also promised that he do his best to make sure no Hugos get awarded if NO AWARDs win. We can’t really do much to fix this until at least 2017.

So given all that, I’m rather wondering if part of the Puppy plan next year will be to nominate works they want to see lose. Their slates have always been explicitly political, but they have generally been at least for works; now perhaps they will be against works.

That’s bad, too, and a more difficult problem. This year, quashing those sorts of experiments isn’t difficult; simply ignore these retroactive assignments and endorsements.

But next year, it will be much more difficult, and the system-gaming will be more intense. It may be so intense that it collapses, but I’m not that much of an optimist. I’m very much afraid that the 2016 awards will be a disaster of competing political slates, and that many of them will be sabotage slates.

I’m still also worried about the WSFS business meeting, particularly after GamerGate-affiliated Men’s Rights Activists lied about their affiliation to get a dealer booth at Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. They were claiming to be with the webcomic Xenospora, but were actually with themselves and with A Voice for Men, one of the more virulent MRA groups. The Mary Sue has photos of the GamerGate banner at their booth, taken before they were asked to leave the convention for violation of terms of participation.

Their goal was to disrupt, and they succeeded to some degree before leaving. This now having been tried – albeit less than successfully – Sasquan needs to expect this sort of thing in Spokane. That’s not the only thing they need to worry about – I’ve alerted people on their concom of other issues they may need to expect which I will not detail here – but it’s yet another potentiality for their plate.

So. A bunch of possible testings-of-water, strategy-wise. Am I reading too much into this? Possibly. But given that some of them actively enjoy this whole destructive process – and in my experience, it’s actually many who do – I don’t think I’m over-reading here.

Finally, I don’t want to post without noting that we’re down another nominee – Black Gate has declined their Best Fanzine nomination, as had staff member Matthew David Surridge declined his before the original shortlist was even announced. It’s too late for Black Gate to be removed from the ballot, however; should they win despite withdrawing, I understand that’s the same as NO AWARD.

PS: Bryke “turned on” by “lesbian oriental teenagers,” John? Really? Really?

PPS: A reminder of what Bryan Konietzko had to say about the ending of The Legend of Korra.

a sense of scale

Oh no, you fuckers do not get to make me care about Star Wars again. You have no right.

But I am going to say a thing nonetheless, about storytelling with cinematography.

J.J. Abrams was always the wrong choice for Star Trek. Always. He never got it, and really, said so, in that infamous Daily Show clip everyone’s seen, and that failure to get it reverberated throughout his choices.

But I hoped, just hoped, that he might be a good choice for Star Wars. And that opening trailer shot says a lot about him getting it. At least some of it.

See, the first, opening shot in the original Star Wars? The Star Destroyer sequence? That’s about scale. It’s about setting a very, very large scope, without ever saying HAY LOOK HOW HUGE THIS IS. It’s about dropping you in there and just letting it happen… in a way you don’t expect. There’s that little misdirection with the kind of a little ship that was in SF films before Star Wars… and then things change, and you know the scales have moved.

And that’s exactly what this trailer does. Right out the gate. A little landspeeder going across a desert; a little ship, crashed, like you’ve seen before…

…and then things change, and the scales are moved. It does so more successfully than either of the prequel films I saw managed at any point. The prequels mostly just looked busy and overly-concerned with minutia and, as a result, kind of… small.

There is more sense of largeness in this one shot opening the trailer than both of the prequel films I saw managed to achieve, combined.

And unlike with Star Trek‘s early promotional shots, this isn’t about just duplicating previous material effectively. Those looked good too – but they were duplications, re-creations. The same shots, staged with new actors.

This isn’t that. This isn’t just repeating but bigger. This is showing how to parallel, without duplicating.

You can’t take very much from a teaser-trailer. People have noted that Phantom Menace‘s teaser trailers looked pretty good too. But for J.J. Abrams to get this right, so very effectively… maybe there’s hope it won’t be the only thing he gets right.

nominees bowing out; a variety of puppies and responses

On top of everything below, I’m mad that this Puppies slate-voting/nominations-gaming stunt happened this year in particular.

I know that’s selfish, but we don’t get a lot of Cascadian Worldcons; I know, I’ve been involved (at low levels) with a few failed bids. But more, a friend of mine won the competition to do the Hugo Award base. I was really happy for him, and now he gets to deal with this.

I mean, the whole mess is overtly political bullshit, done for overtly political reasons, mostly – when it comes right down to it – for spite, to Show Those People What. And while plenty of people have been hurt by this – to the distinct pleasure of some on the Puppy side, since after all, that’s kind of the point – it’s a little more personal when it’s people you know.

Anyway. I’ve assembled a bunch of links off to other people talking about the Puppies, including – talking of people being hurt by it – Annie Bellet removing her story from the ballot, and Marko Kloos removing his novel. I had most of these already yesterday, but I wanted to keep one day clear of it.

Here are all of my posts on the topic so far; they’ve also all been added to the Sexism and Racism in Geek Culture masterpost, which is on the left in “Collections.” Or, you know, right here.

  • On Buying some Hugo Awardstm, and voting No Award
  • We’d Better All Be Ready To Go To The Business Meeting, on gaming the rules change process itself
  • On Brad Torgersen and Crocodile Tears, and the Correia/Torgersen attempts to distance themselves from the white supremacist they invited into their campaign
  • A Predicable? Doubling Down, wherein I respond to Brad Torgersen’s assertion that anyone opposing the Puppy slate are Leninist Communists
  • Some Puppies Are Deleting Things, wherein I repost and/or link to caches of material various Puppies – mostly John C. Wright – have tried to hide via deletion or just pretend never happened. Too bad that’s not how the internet works, guys. Also wherein I get accused of libel by John C. Wright for quoting John C. Wright. That’s not how libel works, either. Possibly to be followed by John C. Wright coming over here and yelling at me for this, too, because wow, John C. Wright vanity searches a lot, and this will totally come up in John C. Wright’s John C. Wright search results. Hi John!

eta: I am adding to this list as I find more things today, some of which are kind of hilarious, some of which are kind of pathetic, some of which are both. Enjoy?

help nwcMUSIC 2016 happen

After all the Puppies mess of the last week or so, something important to me got a bit lost in the wash:

I’m taking a sabbatical from the Norwescon concom next year, but I want nwcMUSIC to live on; they need several people to take my place.

They’re going to break my job up into multiple smaller jobs, which is good and right, and needs to happen. I built that festival on force of personality, and it’s time for me to step away. But I will help. I will throw you data, I will throw you files, I will throw you everything I can.

I won’t be on the committee, but I will aid whoever replaces me, because I want this thing I’ve built to survive my departure.

So please, go look, and even if you’re not a person who should do this, even if you’re only vaguely interested, please, please, go tell your friends anyway. And ask them to tell their friends. We want the widest possible net to be cast here.

And send them all to this link for more information:

http://crimeandtheforcesofevil.com/blog/2015/04/back-from-nwc2015/

Again, please, please, please spread this around. nwcMUSIC has the tools, it has the momentum, it has the mindshare – it just needs a few people to step in and run the various parts. We’ve built a hell of a thing here, and it’s been a lot of fun; now help Norwescon find those right people to replace me, so we can keep this party going.

since some puppies are deleting things

Hey, looks like some of the Puppies are deleting embarrassing things! Too bad that’s not how the internet works. If you know of more, let me know! I’ll add them to this post.

John C. Wright’s ‘The Perversion of a Legend’, archived on the Wayback Machine. Excerpt:

A children’s show, of all places, is where you decided to place an ad for a sexual aberration; you pervert your story telling skills to the cause of propaganda and political correctness.

You sold your integrity out to the liberal establishment. In a craven fashion you deflect criticism by slandering and condemning any who object to your treason.

You were not content to leave the matter ambiguous, no, but had publicly to announce that you hate your audience, our way of life, our virtues, values, and religion.

[…]

Mr DiMartino and Mr Konietzko: You are disgusting, limp, soulless sacks of filth. You have earned the contempt and hatred of all decent human beings forever, and we will do all we can to smash the filthy phallic idol of sodomy you bow and serve and worship. Contempt, because you struck from behind, cravenly; and hatred, because you serve a cloud of morally-retarded mental smog called Political Correctness, which is another word for hating everything good and bright and decent and sane in life.

I have no hatred in my heart for any man’s politics, policies, or faith, any more than I have hatred for termites; but once they start undermining my house where I live, it is time to exterminate them.

He’s still got his post up about how he regrets not punching Terry Pratchett in the face, though. Don’t worry, John, I’ve saved an archive.

Here’s some commentary Correia and Torgersen probably wish they hadn’t said in a pro-Sad-Puppies* podcast and almost certainly wish somebody hadn’t transcribed (hi), given how much they’re trying to distance themselves from Vox Day now:

In response to a question about their decision to bring in Vox Day to the Puppies effort:

Correia: Last year, given that my goal was to get these people to demonstrate to the world what they’re like, so I was going though, I was looking at shorter work – I really did like the story… I really did like it… my fanbase, they liked it too… so when I was putting together my slate… I started looking at it, said, okay, I like this story, they hate him, they look under the bed for him before they go to sleep at night, and he’s like the devil to them. But […] in the history of art, scumbags have created art. Okay? Otherwise there’s a lot of, you know, Roman Polanski is going to have to give a lot of Academy Awards back, okay?

Correia: Well, here’s the thing, and actually, I know the guy? I don’t think he is [a scumbag], I think what it is is that he a guy who is an internet curmudgeon who likes to pick fights with people, who got in a fight with a racist, and said racist things, in response to somebody who is hurling racist slurs for years. However, one person was from the approved clique and therefore got a pass, and the other guy is, you know, Satan-slash-Hitler, and the end of the world. So I threw him on there because I did [ed: like? knew? unclear] him, I liked the story, oh boy, that was… that caused some controversy…

Correia: But here’s the thing. People who are still bringing that up, it shows that they are not, they don’t, it’s all about politics. So last year I nominated a guy who said things they don’t like. Every year they nominate people who say horrible things about others that aren’t part of their pretty little, part of their clique, that’s fine. They have given awards, they’ve given lifetime achievement awards, to people who are public supporters of NAMBLA. Okay? They, this week they’re going to back for another author who said extremely racist comments, and got called on it, and now they’re trying to explain what she really meant to say.

Correia: So the thing is, for them, it’s not about right or wrong, it’s about part of my tribe or not part of my tribe. So at the same time, yes, I did nominate this guy’s [Vox Day] story, I certainly, who else did I nominate? They ignore everything else on there…

Torgersen: I agree with Larry, in fact, I’ve been talking about this online […] we’ve seen a lot of what I would call activists – and some of them try to be writers, but really they’re activists first – try to come into this genre, supposedly the dangerous genre, if you remember Harlan Ellison’s anthologies that he put out a few years ago… now the genre doesn’t want to be dangerous, the genre wants to be safe. And you have all these people scurrying around calling people names – character assassinations, people get mobbed on blogs, y’know Elizabeth Moon was a a victim of that not to long ago, every year it seems there’s somebody who’s a new victim.

Torgersen: And they don’t even have to necessarily be in the genre? Who was the British guy who was going to be [Jonathan Ross]… I thought that was a great idea… to me, he was going to bring a lot of clout to the Hugos and the Hugos were really going to get a nice spotlight. Well, what happened? Almost immediately, as soon as he was named, as he was going to be the guy, people had a freaking cow. And they were saying, “oh it’s not, he’s gonna make it so I can’t be safe at the Hugos.” Which, okay, I’m sorry, I’m military, a lot of this talk about safe spaces is complete crap and it’s silly and it’s juvenile and it’s infantile, and they won, and they got him taken off. […]

Torgersen: Almost every year there’s some controversy over something somebody’s written where they get accused of having fun wrong. You know, Larry has brought this up many times, in the genre now, you’re having fun wrong, you get accused of cultural appropriation, you get accused of racism, you get accused of sexism, you get accused of trans gender phobia – the activists have really tired their best to make the genre become a game of political correctness. And, most people are running scared. Authors, like Larry said, are terrified of “what can I write?” I see that all the time with new authors now, what can I write, what can I write? […]

Torgersen: We have a lot of people militating in the genre to try to force – for instance, Orson Scott Card got kicked off a comics thing not too long ago because activists were trying to punish him for some things he had said… [ed: that GBLT people should be illegal, and also, being on the board of the National Organisation for Marriage, and anti-marriage-equality political action group] […]

Torgersen: More and more of the genre is becoming obsessed with making political points, making sociological points, the Hugos have become this football for activists and other people who want to make a political point. And it’s like people have forgotten about the whole point of this enterprise, which is adventure, exploration, and if there’s a message, that’s the passenger. […]

eta: There is a report going around that Mr. Correia changed his Reno, Nevada Worldcon report, editing it from a largely positive report to one that better fits the current narrative. This is untrue; there is a recent addendum, wherein he says he was intentionally leaving out the negatives, and that he was “still afraid of” “the TNH crowd,” but the body of the text has not been changed. (Current version, Mar 16, 2015 10:05:33 GMT version in Google’s cache (scroll down). This addendum is accurate as of 9:15am Cascadian/Pacific, 14 April 2015.)

eta2: Multiple people (including commenter Matthew B., below) are pointing to a later version of Mr. Wright’s comments in his Legend of Korra deleted post, wherein he asserts that the “instinctive reaction of men towards fags” is “beating them to death with axhandles and tire-irons.” Here is a screen capture; here is the blog post talking about it at Obsidian Wings. This is in neither archive.org capture, but was reported to be in a January 28, 2015 Google Cache record. This cache is no longer available; the current Google cached version is from April 9th (indicating the page changed at or around then), and the comment in that version is not the same. I am slightly hesitant about posting this because I cannot personally access the (now-expired) cache, but as several people confirmed the quote at the time (see comments at Obsidian Wings) and screencaps were posted (see links), and none of the cacheing we do have contradicts the implication of an edit on or around April 8th or 9th, prior to the whole article’s deletion, I’m going ahead. Also, I have seen almost exactly the same line delivered by a variety of religious fundamentalist sources; I accordingly find it credible.

eta3, I guess? 2015/04/29: John Ringo posted a ranty rant rant about “Understanding SJW Logic” and how it is “destroying science fiction” and ranting about his sister being “a radical gay” and so on. And then he deleted it several hours later. Sorry, John, that’s still not how the Internet works. Here’s the header:

*: This is contested. I took the phrase “Full disclosure: AISFP was included in the 2015 slate” to indicate involvement in selecting the slate, which for me, indicates pro-Puppy support, as did listening to the episode. However, commenters on Twitter have indicated they are not a pro-Puppies podcast in general; see this comment thread below for details.
 
 
eta: HELLO EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET, starting with Cory Doctorow and Seanan McGuire readers but then it kind of exploded from there!

I’m actually a geek musician most of the time, despite all these Hugo/Sad Puppies posts as of late. You can listen to our new neo-Celtic fantasy novel soundtrack album by clicking on the play gadget in the upper left. Or you can pick tracks here:

http://music.crimeandtheforcesofevil.com/album/bone-walker

Also, all of my posts on this topic can be found in my Sexism and Racism in Geek Culture masterpost, which is on the left in “Collections.” Or, you know, here.

And welcome! ^_^

eta2: Well, that’s neat – I didn’t even know this style divided comments into pages. At least there’s UI for it, way down at the bottom.

speaker two needs more work

Speaker two, out of the gate, actually sounded a little better than speaker one. Particularly the tweeter, since with some cajoling, it actually came back online with less effort than the tweeter in speaker one.

So of course I started with speaker one, because yeah, it’s do the worse case first, see what I get. And that came out pretty well. So today I’m working on speaker two, the one that had all the extra crap like fibreglass insulation inside, and start taking it apart.

I get the tweeter driver taken apart, and the foam (like in speaker one) is made pretty much out of spiderweb and motor oil at this point, and I replace it, and then I look at the driver dome diaphragm.


That’s not good

So yeah that’s not good at all. So I work on pulling it off, and it’s not easy, and in fact it’s very not easy at all in ways it should be, and I’m thinking, oh, this is not good, and then I manage to wedge it out of the driver.


oh ick


Yeaaaah, something crawled up there and died

It took a lot of work to get all of that out of the dome and also all of that out of the slot where the driver cone lives (and yeah, it was in there too), and to be honest, I’m really confused that this tweeter worked at all, much less as well as it did.

Anyway, I did all the things I did on the other speaker (rebuilt the crossover, changed the design like in speaker one, added in the new compensation circuit like in speaker one, pulled out the giant twitter rheostat, added a standard quarter-inch connector, also fixed some physical oddness in the back panel that wasn’t in speaker one), and put it all back together pending the new dome.

This is playing back the track I was using most often as a reference before. Once again, given the condition of the cone, I’m astounded it sounds this good. You can hear some of the problems the damaged cone is causing, nonetheless. This one makes it more obvious – lots of sibilance hiss that isn’t in the recording.

But yeah, that’s really most of it. Need a new part, I can order that, the rest is cosmetic. I’m going to build some mini-screens to hide those air-holes in the front, since they aren’t cosmetic; I’m not sure what to do about the outsides or the grille yet; it’ll need something. I could felt them, I suppose, but… I’m not sure. Might be fun to go all brass and stuff, why not?

a predictable? doubling down

Over the weekend, I called out Brad Torgersen for trying to play bad cop/completely psychotic cop with Vox Day as the latter, following a weird post of Torgersen’s which was half-distancing, half-ante-upping, and literally calling everyone who would vote NO AWARD over slate candidates an asshole. The problem with the distancing part is that he and Correia actively recruited Vox into the fold – but, again, see the link.

I wasn’t going to write about this today, but… I can’t not, because his follow-up appears to be some sort of fierce yet hilarious doubling-down. Honestly – and I swear I am not making this up, go read it yourself if you don’t believe me – he’s saying that if you’re against the Sad Puppies slate manipulation of the Hugo process to take control over most of the literary awards, you are a Leninist Communist.*

No, really. Here’s a screencap of the tail end of his post.


Nick Mamatas, please call your office

Also, from the same post, the Chick-fil-A corporation is apparently similarly heroic – he doesn’t use that word, but that’s what he’s saying – for daring to go, as he puts it, “off-script.” Just like he and Correia and Vox Day claim to have done. To eliminate Mr. Torgersen’s euphemism, the Chick-fil-A corporation is heroic for actively supporting and promoting, via money and corporate action, official government discrimination against LGBT people. Just like the Puppies are heroes, apparently, for rigging the Hugo Awards with a bloc slate vote.

Apparently. And critics of that are, presumably, see above.

Hey, don’t blame me, it’s his simile. Also:

Because only supporters of corporations which promote government discrimination against queers are truly Free People, just like only blocs of fans voting the same identical ballots so they can “stick it to” the “SJWs” are Free People. Apparently.

But, you know, politics had nothing to do with the Puppies. They’re just Promoting Good SF. It’s the people upset about slate blocs who are the Commies.

I’m just… wow. I mean wow. Isn’t it great, what the Puppies have brought to fandom? Wow.


*: At least one commenter disagrees, asserting that the opposition to Sad Puppies are actually Nazis. Glad to have that cleared up.

eta: Some Puppies appear to be deleting things and/or pretending things don’t exist. Too bad that’s not how the Internet works.

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The Music

THE NEW SINGLE