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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Brainstorm May

We have 92 participants for the first Brainstorm (which will be at 7:30 PM Eastern regardless of what it says on the invite), and the event is now closed. The invitations for tomorrow will be going out within the hour; Dr. Greg Anderson will be serving as the sole panelist for this particular session. We THINK we've figured out a way to make it more organized, with Markku running the show as I focus on the topics at hand, but we'll see how it goes. Please keep in mind that we're new to the system and it won't be surprising if it's less than entirely smooth.

One thing I am pleased to announce is that although the system software does not have an audience chat feature, we've installed one on our own server so attendees can chat directly with one another in a second window. Instructions will be provided along with the invites.

And since there isn't much to discuss in this regard, here is an email from #21, a Rabid Puppy asking for the chance to discuss the Hugo-nominated works now that the Hugo Packet has been released.
I request a post in which to discuss the Hugo Award finalists, now that the packets are out. That is to say, I just read some of them and I really, really need to vent.
I am kind. Vent away.

Labels: ,

42 Comments:

Blogger automatthew 0x3e May 19, 2015 6:49 PM  

Repeated from yesterday's thread:

Short Story: "Totaled"

Well executed tear-jerker euthanasia propaganda. Includes brilliant single-mother scientist.

Blogger Daniel May 19, 2015 6:57 PM  

"Well-executed"

Nicely played, automatthew 0x3e.

Blogger Torial (#170) May 19, 2015 6:58 PM  

Loved "The Plurals of Helen of Troy" and hope that wins Novella. The SJW reviews (even the recent one linked on File770) don't get it, or read until offended.

Blogger Tallawampus May 19, 2015 7:11 PM  

I got my Brainstorm e-mail and it's giving the time as 3:30 pm EDT to 4:30 pm EDT - should be 7:30 EDT to 8:30 EDT, right?

#0198

Blogger VD May 19, 2015 7:15 PM  

I got my Brainstorm e-mail and it's giving the time as 3:30 pm EDT to 4:30 pm EDT - should be 7:30 EDT to 8:30 EDT, right?

Ah, yes. Actually, 7:30 to 9 PM Eastern.

Anonymous jon May 19, 2015 7:33 PM  

OT for this thread, but re-posting here because "The Excluded" already has almost 400 posts so I thought it might get lost over there.

--------------

The SJWs over at LawyersGunsMoney have stumbled upon this little corner of the web:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2015/05/they-hate-us-for-our-branes

Blogger Student in Blue May 19, 2015 7:36 PM  

So I read through Big Boys Don't Cry today at work for the first time and really enjoyed it. I was struck by how it was a story that made me think, not because it demanded I think about it but rather it painted a picture that slowly was changing with each chapter. It raised questions, instead of shoving answers in your face.

Then I saw some posts about 'man the graphic novels are bad' so I thought I'd wade into them.

Well now.

I managed to sit through all of Ms. Marvel but I had to make myself. It wasn't necessarily painful, and I have an inkling it's probably the best of the lot, but it's also very shoddy with the artwork. I'm pretty sure Rob Liefeld would've done an equivalent work. But no, it's "artsy" so whatever.

I was also instantly annoyed by the "referential" humor thrown around like it was funny. The hip, chic, snarky attitude in the backgrounds seem at odds with the characters and overall tone of the story. I get the feeling the author doesn't even really understand "white people" which is why the white jerkfaces come off as two-dimensional whereas every other race has a fleshed out, balance to them.

Well, it's either not understanding "white people" or they're overtly racist. I'm being generous however.

Now, remember how I said Big Boys Don't Cry made me think? Ms. Marvel made me not think. It's fluff that's meant to be experienced, and that comes from how it's presented. It gives a fairly even hand to everyone and it's not necessarily *terrible*, but... it's entertainment for the average person, and that seems to be it.

With that one taken care of, I opened up Sex Criminals, and only made it through about a quarter of it. In short, the author/s are bitter and jaded about sex and think you should be too, and that seemed to be the length and breadth of it.

Oh, and the art is worse. Not in that it's children scribblings (it's not) or that the lady narrating about her sex life looks like she's 45 and really shouldn't be talking about sex for my sanity (true), but there were several scenes in which I couldn't make heads or tails out of what happened. It wasn't even an action, but the scene was so poorly laid out that it took a conscious effort to piece together what the hell is supposed to be going on.

"Time stopped." I thought the narrator was being metaphorical, but no they were being literal, and it took me about 5-6 frames after and re-reading the same frames several times to figure out what in the world was happening.

Utter trash.

Anonymous Fliz May 19, 2015 8:13 PM  

I feel cheated and confused. I started one of the novels on this racist, sexist slate and I'm reading about a half-black outcast who, through a twist of fate, inherits power from a stiff and corrupt (white) establishment. I'm afraid he's going to continue to be courteous to servants and shrewd in his politics throughout the whole damn book - a book, I tremble to add, that was written by a woman!

I'm finding it impossible to get my quota of hate from this dreck and am no longer considering a minion badge. I sure as hell don't need to join the Flowery Legion of Hope/Change.

Blogger Tallawampus May 19, 2015 8:29 PM  

Anything more specific on tomorrow's Brainstorm topic?

Blogger Markku May 19, 2015 8:38 PM  

There was a Mr. Wagner who apparently had typo'd his Gmail address. So, if you see this, look into your hotmail instead.

Anonymous Usualjay May 19, 2015 9:36 PM  

That was me thanks very much for catching my screw up and following up.

Blogger Nate May 19, 2015 9:36 PM  

so... the Ilk started talking Whiskey in the brainstorm chatrooms 24 hours before the brainstorm began.


Typical.

Blogger Nate May 19, 2015 9:40 PM  

"Anything more specific on tomorrow's Brainstorm topic? "

Its an ilk brainstorm.

We'll start off talking about something really intellectual and important but by the end it will be Guns and Booze

Blogger Sam Hall May 19, 2015 9:42 PM  

We'll start off talking about something really intellectual and important but by the end it will be Guns and Booze and women

Blogger Tank May 19, 2015 9:54 PM  

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Blogger J May 19, 2015 9:54 PM  

@StudentInBlue

I hear you. Sex Criminals is stupid and gimmicky, a 'let's see how we blase we can get about sex" juvenile one-up game. Ms Marvel's Avengers apparition insulted religion and intelligence and made me stop reading after that panel. Rat Queens is just boorish and poorly executed - a bunch of ugly people doing ugly things.

Anonymous hideous May 19, 2015 10:02 PM  

OT: Aristotle has been mentioned in the blog several times recently and today I stumbled upon (via the service) some of his quotes that seem especially apropos. They are unvetted, so caveat emptor.

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”

“We become just by performing just action, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave action.”

“The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.”

“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.”

Blogger Student in Blue May 19, 2015 10:08 PM  

@J

Really, the thing that strikes me about the vast difference between Big Boys Don't Cry and Sex Criminals is that Kratman took an inhuman thing and made it human, and Sex Criminals took a human thing and made it inhuman. There was beauty in the awful yet human things that happened in Big Boys Don't Cry. The things in Sex Criminals was just awful, and not even human, let alone having any sort of beauty.

There's at least some of the human element in Ms. Marvel.

Blogger Rantor May 19, 2015 10:08 PM  

Speaking of guns... The Boy Scouts have outlawed squirt gun fights at official activites. Because shooting people is not kind.

WTF? No squirt guns? Little pansy gets feelings hurt. Take your Eagle Scout badge little Johnny and run along, it no longer means Jack. Hell we had rock fights, squirt guns, water balloons, dodge ball (more painful than squirt guns).

No money for the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts anymore. SJWs running the clubs, no real men in sight.

Anonymous Rhys O'Reilly May 19, 2015 10:40 PM  

@ Rantor: Time to form your own version of the boyscouts and girl guides with like minded others.

Blogger Student in Blue May 19, 2015 10:46 PM  

So I'm delving into Rat Queen now, and I have to say... I really should not be surprised at Rat Queen and Sex Criminals being written by men, and only men. Empowered female protagonists are being pushed pretty blatantly by the kind of men who find that thing thrilling, and not by women. Meanwhile, Ms Marvel is pretty much stupid teen angst with politically correct demographics and goodthink, but not really "empowered grrl"... and the writer happens to be a woman.

Hmm.

Anonymous BGS May 19, 2015 11:12 PM  

Woody Allen and congressman Menendez to join girl scouts. http://www.weaselzippers.us/224075-girl-scouts-celebrate-diversity-by-accepting-girls-who-are-really-boys-there-isnt-one-type-of-girl/#disqus_thread

Anonymous BGS May 19, 2015 11:14 PM  

Boy Scouts have outlawed squirt gun fights WTF? No squirt guns? Little pansy gets feelings hurt.

With Gay Scout leaders squirt guns fights are out, teaching testicular self exams took its place.

Anonymous rtp May 19, 2015 11:29 PM  

Is this going to be the one on disease?

If so, I hope that German New Medicine will get discussed. Not only is it the only one that makes sense it is also the only one that doesn't require a blasphemous description of babies as ticking time bombs.

Anonymous Mr.A is Mr.A May 20, 2015 12:03 AM  

Hugo post if Brainstorm folks want to bypass.

Novels are first for me. Splitting my reads between Jim Butcher's 80+ pages, the Three Body Problem, and the Ancillary Justice partial book; covering about 20-30 pages of one (1-2 chapters roughly), switching to #2 and reading about the same, then on to #3.

I see why Vox said he was voting for Three Body Problem. Excellent science fiction here. It will be a hard decision between Harry Dresden and TBP. Ancillary Justice is a bit of a slog -- a few good spots if you can get past the shoehorned pronouns and stilted dialog, but nothing award-worthy inside so far -- tea and dishes is what I recall after 50 pages. AJ currently serves as a delay between the other two books -- not a good sign.

Dark Between the Stars and Goblin Emperor after Set 1 is completed.

Blogger John Wright May 20, 2015 12:34 AM  

"Really, the thing that strikes me about the vast difference between Big Boys Don't Cry and Sex Criminals is that Kratman took an inhuman thing and made it human, and Sex Criminals took a human thing and made it inhuman."

Well said.

Blogger Michael Maier May 20, 2015 12:53 AM  

Just started DLing the packet... Only have time to look at the Pro Artist... Tough category. Lots of good stuff in the four finalists.

Anonymous Wanderer May 20, 2015 2:22 AM  

Really, the thing that strikes me about the vast difference between Big Boys Don't Cry and Sex Criminals is that Kratman took an inhuman thing and made it human, and Sex Criminals took a human thing and made it inhuman.

Ahhh, Kratman is the only one trying to be inclusive.

Anonymous Mrs. Wif May 20, 2015 4:23 AM  

Reading John Wright's nominated stuff now, and I've gotten to the essay on how to write fiction. I would note that it's interesting that SJW fiction is written in the matter of fact, overly direct way he says writers should not choose. It's super weird to keep reading about rules of writing and note that SJW fiction is always exactly what he says not to do.

Blogger Markku May 20, 2015 5:46 AM  

For those who purchased membership: Note that the chat forum mentioned in the instructions is always up, and not just during webinars. Anyone can create private rooms in it do discuss things not related to a webinar, and this is a crowd self-selected as those who would pay 20 USD for us. No SJW's.

So, it's a safe space....

You put Ilk together, and it's totally safe, right?

Blogger Calbeck May 20, 2015 6:20 AM  

@StudentInBlue - Having gone through all four graphic novels in the packet, I actually have to grant kudos to Sex Criminals. I can see where you got your impressions from the first quarter of the book, but that's mere buildup. It's ultimately a story about people who find they can stop time by having sex, and use their superpowers to rob banks.

There is actually a story here, and it's not the initially-apparent polemic. At the end, I even wanted to know what would happen next --- which absolutely none of the other three entries managed.

I AM a bit disappointed that the zombie comic which appears on my ballot does not show up in the packet --- did Carter Reid pull out or get disqualified?

Blogger Student in Blue May 20, 2015 7:13 AM  

@Calbeck

I'll try to finish what was presented, for completion's sake, but that's honestly a strike against them. If it takes a quarter of the thing following a girl with daddy issues to illustrate a simple concept such as "people who can commit crimes by having sex" then whoever did the storyboarding needs to be punched in the face.

I mean, it's pretty literally telling, not showing, and that's in a graphic novel!

Blogger Stilicho #0066 May 20, 2015 9:08 AM  

I'm about 2/3rds of the way through A Man Disrupted (I know, not a Hugo nominee, but it should be if it were eligible). It's the best SF/mystery-detective story since I Robot and Niven's Gil "the Arm" Hamilton stories and it may exceed them in some areas. Well done! I recommend it to any of the Ilk who haven't read it yet.

Anonymous Ecthelion May 20, 2015 9:11 AM  

You put Ilk together, and it's totally safe, right?

It might be good, but it is certainly not safe.

Anonymous VFM.0157 aka Forrest Bishop May 20, 2015 10:31 AM  

"We have 92 participants for the first Brainstorm (which will be at 7:30 PM Eastern regardless of what it says on the invite), and the event is now closed. The invitations for tomorrow will be going out within the hour...: -Vox Day

THAT is impressive. The wallet has spoken.

At the risk of giving the enemy ideas, what a great way for folks like Scalzi, Chu, Wu, Quinn, etc. to boost those flagging sales and compensate for their paltry unemployment checks. Have their readers pony up for a paid webinaire on short notice and see how many show up. We might even assist them with building the buzz.

Blogger Markku May 20, 2015 10:53 AM  

The service is stunningly expensive though, because sending HQ video to that many people requires preposterous bandwidth. So, Scalzi better be able to turn that kind of an audience on a regular basis for several months, or it's soup and noodles for him.

Anonymous VFM.0157 aka Forrest Bishop May 20, 2015 11:03 AM  

"The service is stunningly expensive though, because sending HQ video to that many people requires preposterous bandwidth. So, Scalzi better be able to turn that kind of an audience on a regular basis for several months, or it's soup and noodles for him."-Markku

He only needs to do it once as a market test. Doesn't he have millions of readers and website visits? This would give him another objective metric of his demand. If he does it now, during this two-month interregnum, it would also amount to an A-B test of Pink v Blue. I don't know much about him (actually never heard of him until a few months ago), but he seem to be an expert on how to rig the Hugos, how to not-do lawn care, Defamation Best Practices, writing homosexual dialog, etc. Surely plenty of topics for his claimed fan base there.

Blogger Russell Newquist May 20, 2015 11:10 AM  

Gonna have to wait for the transcript rather than participating. :(

Is Wednesday evenings now a set time for these, or will they be rotating some?

Blogger Kirk Parker May 20, 2015 12:26 PM  

Markku or Vox,

Will there be a way to join up later for future Brainstorms?

Blogger VD May 20, 2015 12:34 PM  

Will there be a way to join up later for future Brainstorms?

Yes, there will be an annual membership at a reduced rate of $240 and one-off events both free and paid. The annual memberships will be made available tomorrow. I want to let those participating tonight be able to see if it's worth it to them before doing so.

Blogger VD May 20, 2015 12:36 PM  

Is Wednesday evenings now a set time for these, or will they be rotating some?

Unfortunately, it's probably set if that works best for everyone. The free ones will be at different times, however.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza May 21, 2015 12:34 AM  

Awesome, Carry on gentlemen!

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