Tag Archive: WorldCon


It’s been a few weeks since my last post on the Hugo Awards. I haven’t had much to say, because my only concern in this matter is on the subject of writing. I’m not interested in responding to every little thing that pops up, such as news articles that repeat lies, Big Five editors who make up new lies, fans who leave one-star, one-word Amazon reviews on Hugo-nominated works . . . I’ll leave that up to others. Sure, it gets me great traffic, but I’m interested in writing, reviews, and fun stuff to share. The Hugo Awards are too serious, yet too inconsequential in the long run, to just keep harping on the same points over and over and over and . . . you get the idea.

Joker Hugo Awards

(Actually, if you want over-the-top Hugo humor, check out my friend Declan’s parody of the Sad Puppies people encountering SWATing and Worldcon. I make my own appearance in the latest installment. Apparently my house is made of Lego. I don’t find this repugnant.)

bullshit-asymmety-principleAnyway, long story short, I’m writing another Hugo post. This is because someone decided to leave a long comment on a previous post that requires a few more counterpoints than is easy to do in an answering comment. As such, I’m doing a full-on fisk, and invoking Brandolini’s Bullshit Asymmetry Principle.

The commenter’s name is pocketnaomi. As such, I’m assuming this person is a woman named Naomi, and will be addressing her that way. Continue reading

The week isn’t over, but it’s just getting crazier. Aside from the “No True Fan” argument, publications like Entertainment Weekly (though the editors almost immediately retracted the hit piece), Salon, the Telegraph, the Guardian, and more, as well as numerous websites like Cracked and various blogs, have been saying over and over that the Sad Puppies campaign is vile, vicious, vulgar, and villainous. It seems that the campaign that nominated works by liberal, female, non-white, and gay artists did so out of a strong desire for a right-wing utopia dominated by straight white men. Who knew?

But I’m not going to get into that right now. I’m going to leave that up to others. For now, if you want my opinion on the subject, I invite you to look at my previous blog posts. In “Piers Plowman and the Hugo Awards,” I discussed the problem of putting a message before the story. I followed that with a look at those who argue differently, with “G. K. Chesterton and the Social Fiction Warriors.” Finally, after the Hugo ballot was released, I talked about the effort to deny the validity of opinions, and what makes a fan a fan, in “You Are All Fake Geek Girls.”

According to the trackbacks and referrals I’ve been getting, these are all considered moderate opinions, and as unbiased as someone who’s taken a side can get. I’m flattered, everyone, and I’m glad the posts have been useful.

However, unless and until more specifically writing-related topics come up, I’m leaving it there. I’ve been enjoying the extra traffic, but my focus here, on this blog, is on writing and reviews. I’ve said as much as I can really think of about that in relation to the Hugos.

. . . well, almost. I still have to get on to reviewing Hugo nominees. I fully intend to crank out as many reviews of nominated material as I can get before the end of July, when the final ballot is due. I already have non-spoiler reviews of Jim Butcher’s Skin Game (nominated for Best Novel) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The LEGO Movie (both nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form).

But, for now, I want to talk about the voting process. Continue reading

EDIT: My apologies to anyone who got double emails and double trackbacks, or has had trouble with a broken link. The original version of this essay disappeared due to an infestation of drunk gremlins causing glitches. I had to rebuild it from the Google cache. If you are someone I linked to and have double trackbacks, I’m sorry for the minor bout of spam. One of those links won’t work now. 

I have an extremely pretty friend. Okay, that’s not unusual — a very high number of my female friends are good-looking, ranging from cute to gorgeous. This particular friend is drop-dead, traffic-stopping kind of gorgeous, with a smile that can stop hearts and a body that can cause accidents in the street. She’s a model, a singer, a dancer, a teacher, amazingly athletic, and huge fun to hang out with. Some of you know exactly who I’m talking about. A few times, it’s been suggested that we date. We both laugh.

Now, I don’t take offense at her laughter, not like I would from someone else. I mean, I’m a geek with a wheelchair; the only thing attractive about me is my brain and my paycheck. The latter is just big enough to be noticed and lacks at least two zeros as far as golddiggers are concerned; and the former, well, face it. It’s not enough. But I don’t find it offensive from my friend, because while we’re very close, we don’t fit well enough to even attempt a relationship, much less have a happy marriage. She’d have to go to her happy place if I start talking about anything other than where our interests coincide, which are actually in very few areas.

If you know me, you know I can’t possibly shut up about my interests. When I get invited to speak at conventions, I quite literally tell the panel coordinator to put me in however many slots he or she wants, because odds are I’m going to be talking to people all day anyway. I get a contact high from geekdom. The idea of even one date with someone who can’t stand to listen to me be enthusiastic about something is horrifying. I care for my friend like she’s family, and I’m there for her anytime she needs help, but we both know it wouldn’t be good for our friendship. So we both laugh.

Of course, the last time this happened, she threatened to punch me if I didn’t stop laughing. Sorry! But I couldn’t help it, considering the exact situation. But that’s beside the point. We’d both bore each other — even though we both deeply care about each other. Neither of us can be something we’re not.

This is why I hate it when people rail about “fake geek girls.” It’s also why I’m finding myself utterly perplexed to be called a fake geek girl.

Yes, I’m male. Bear with me. If it doesn’t already make sense, it will.  Continue reading

When I was studying at Christendom College, I had to read a book called Piers Plowman. It was part of the core curriculum that all students had to study, a set of 24 separate classes (plus the math, science, and language requirements) that comprised the entirety of the freshman and sophomore years, as well as some of the junior year. This might sound a bit heavy, but it was actually very efficient and allowed a lot of information in both the lower and upper courses. All professors knew what their students had covered, and so little to no time was wasted on remedial material. This meant more in-depth study of a type normally seen only in graduate courses. With a few exceptions, we were rarely bored.

Piers Plowman was one of those exceptions. The only reason it isn’t a cure for insomnia is because of the torturous pain we suffered by studying it. In fact, in a student parody film based on 24, the villain tortures someone by tying him to a table and reading aloud from Piers Plowman. The actor’s screams were, no doubt, not entirely faked. Continue reading

How to Fix the Oscars

academy-awards2I already laid out why I think the Academy Awards aren’t culturally-relevant. Lots of others have as well. What I noticed was missing, though, was how that could change.

Similarly, there’s a long-standing charge that the Hugo Awards (the equivalent of the Academy Awards for science fiction and fantasy, at least in terms of aspiration, and almost as old) are not representative of the genres the awards claim to cover. There’s a curious parallel, where we see that both sets of awards are chosen by a small minority compared to the total population of those who consume the relevant media.  Continue reading

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