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Sunday, June 07, 2015

A Sisyphean task

A File 770 commenter attempts to counteract a common SJW lie:
Pluviann on June 7, 2015 at 3:02 am said:
OK, I usually lurk, but I see people constantly saying that Beale supports acid attacks on women. The original quote for this is from Pharyngula where Beale says:

[F]emale independence is strongly correlated with a whole host of social ills. Using the utilitarian metric favored by most atheists, a few acid-burned faces is a small price to pay for lasting marriages, stable families, legitimate children, low levels of debt, strong currencies, affordable housing, homogenous populations, low levels of crime, and demographic stability. If PZ has turned against utilitarianism or the concept of the collective welfare trumping the interests of the individual, I should be fascinated to hear it.

Beale is not saying: ‘I support acid attacks’.

Beale is saying: ‘Stupid atheists claim to believe in utilitarian ethics, but they are clearly too stupid to follow their own ethics to their logical conclusions, if they did then they would support acid attacks.’

This is a classic example of Beale’s well known rhetorical slipperiness, but I think it’s worth being clear when you quote him. Why say that he believes in acid attacks which is not true, when, from the same quote, you can say that he believes female independence is correlated with high crime or expensive housing? If you say that he supports acid throwing when he doesn’t then you just give him ideological fodder. He can say: ‘See, those silly SJWs are spreading lies about me and don’t understand my position on anything.’
Pluviann is correct of course. Except that I can do rather more than that. I can point out that the evil SJWs always lie and I can prove it by pointing out that they are lying about me again by knowingly misrepresenting my statements and opinions.

In answer to Pluviann's question, the reason that the SJWs keep lying about this is because accurately representing my statements will not suffice to stoke the outrage they are hoping to inspire. They don't want to honestly debate the long-term consequences of pro-feminist social policies, they simply want to drum up enough support to shout me down and disqualify me in order to minimize my intellectual influence.

As I have repeatedly said, I do not support acid attacks. I do not support honor killings. I do not support the Taliban's attack on Malala Yousafzai. Anyone who claims that I support any of those things, or supported any of them at any time in the past, is lying, for the obvious reason that I am neither an atheist nor a utilitarian.

This comment also amused me for reasons that will soon become clear:
Stefan Mitev on June 7, 2015 at 7:43 am said:
Does anyone on the Puppies seriously expect anyone at Tor to listen to them at all after they spent the last few months (and in TB’s case, years) insulting the company, its employees and some of its main authors and accusing them of fixing the Hugos? LOL.
No, we don't expect anyone at Tor to listen. But we suspect there are those at Pan Macmillan who will.


This comment was considerably more on point:
AV on June 7, 2015 at 7:56 am said:
Disgusting comments by Irene Gallo. Where is your professionalism? Why are you attacking customers and authors of your own publishing house? This is the third bigwig at Tor who took a cheap shot at their own authors and customers. Does anyone there have any common sense? Where the hell is Tom?
It does appear that the inmates are running the Tor asylum of late. They certainly appear to have a creative approach to customer relations.

Labels:

69 Comments:

Blogger Jack Ward June 07, 2015 11:33 AM  

I hope the JCW will jump the Tor ship and reside totally in Castallia land at first opportunity.
At his site he has finished the Count to a Trillion series with the latest awaiting proofing and editing. This is good news. Though, even having purchased Architect of Aeons some time ago, the Hugo reading and other backed up works are keeping me from it. I suspect with the Hugo stuff finished I may 'adjust' the queue a bit and enjoy that one!

Anonymous twitter-farts June 07, 2015 11:34 AM  

Steven Pinker ‏@sapinker · 3h3 hours ago
10 yrs later, mindless slander of Larry Summers persists. Noting small statistcl diff in data isn't "defining women." http://nyti.ms/1RT51V0

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 07, 2015 11:37 AM  

Does anyone there have any common sense? Where the hell is Tom?

I'm certain, Patrick didn't fire her.

Anonymous REG June 07, 2015 11:39 AM  

Since when has any of the Sad Puppies (excluding Wright and Anderson who were published by Tor before Sad Puppies) ever made the statement that they wanted to be published by Tor? Its my understanding that Sad Puppies is about the Hugo and Tor is only mentioned because it appears that Tor has been loading the deck for years. Which then brings up the question, why has so many of Tor's editors joined the SJWs, if they were not complicit in the past log rolling? I haven't noticed any of the other publishing houses weighing in on either side.

Anonymous Shutup, Tad June 07, 2015 11:42 AM  

# 3

SJW's don't know when to shutup.

Blogger Dexter June 07, 2015 11:49 AM  

Larry Correia requested that we not hate Tor, blame Tor, or punish Tor just because of a few bad apples at Tor. Wonder how many Tor Toads will have to vomit on SP authors and fans before he changes that tune.

Blogger VD June 07, 2015 11:54 AM  

Larry Correia requested that we not hate Tor, blame Tor, or punish Tor just because of a few bad apples at Tor.

That was prior to these latest incidents. Larry is not hasty, he will act when he deems the time to be right. But the Vile Faceless Minions do not answer to the International Lord of Hate, great though he is to be feared by most.

They answer to me.

Blogger Hammerli280 June 07, 2015 12:04 PM  

This could get very interesting. Picking on your own company's authors in public is not a wise career move for an editor.

Blogger Casual Brutality June 07, 2015 12:05 PM  

I find it difficult to reach into my wallet and voluntarily hand over money to people who support bile spewers like that Irene Gallo woman.

I'm going to close the door on anything she's associated with.

On the other hand, I am reading John Ringo's "Live Free or Die" right now, and am going to actively pursue reading books by other authors published by Baen Books.

Blogger Buddy E. June 07, 2015 12:09 PM  

Commitment from me: I will not buy a new book from TOR until these asshats are no longer at the helm. TBH Its not a huge loss, I can get the few things they publish that are worth reading from a used book store or perhaps library. Theres plenty of stuff out there from Castalia and Baen that I've not read yet either, so..ROOSTER!

Anonymous zen0 June 07, 2015 12:10 PM  

> They answer to me.

This is similar to Frederick the Great's philosopy according to van Creveld. One Supreme Ruler in charge. No war councils. Especially no Madam Pompadours

Anonymous RedJack #22 June 07, 2015 12:14 PM  

It does seem odd that a manager would wage war on paying customers, and the products they are buying.

Yet, it is pretty common now a days. Most high level managers are in it for power and prestige, not profit. Which means they will lose all three in the end.

Blogger bob k. mando June 07, 2015 12:16 PM  

7. VD June 07, 2015 11:54 AM
They answer to me.


this would be the second reason why i am not a Minion.

the more important one being that you refuse to give me a number outside the main sequence.

*stamps feet and holds breath*


i've had these kinds of conversations numerous times.

MPAI asserts some ludicrousness, A, B and C.

i point out that if i stipulate to A, B and C that D and E immediately follow, N and P loom on the near horizon and X and Z become possible.

MPAI accuse me of supporting E and P and that E and P are outside the bounds of all polite society and *i* should be shunned.

*facepalm*

but ... but ... >i< never agreed to A, B and C?

oh fuck it. all you all can kiss my ass.

Blogger luagha June 07, 2015 12:28 PM  

Far be it from me to reveal the grand design; but this is a fabulous way to identify and remove the SJWs at Tor while keeping the quality individuals.

Blogger Expendable Faceless Minion June 07, 2015 12:39 PM  

I think they're doing it in good faith. Most SJW's can't hold more than two sentences in their heads at once. Consequently, by the time the logical conclusions come around, they read them as straight out statements of intent and belief.

Of course, VD is totally aware of this failing, and is using it to further his hobby trolling the stupid into hysterics.

Oh, the dividends on that tiny $40 investments just keep rolling back...

Blogger David-093 June 07, 2015 12:39 PM  

@VD

"They answer to me."

The urge to nuke the bastards from orbit is nigh overwhelming.

Blogger beerme #0183 June 07, 2015 12:43 PM  

I haven't bought a new TOR book in a long time due to their leftist inclinations. I need to start selling my books used to help others avoid new TOR books.

Anonymous BGS June 07, 2015 12:51 PM  

Don't the Tor toads have any tie in to the sales of books vs. their paychecks?

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 07, 2015 1:02 PM  

Why would VD want Tor to remove it's SJW they are in fact his comparative advantage

Anonymous Elijah Rhodes June 07, 2015 1:10 PM  

The inability to apply even a modicum of logic or to recognize basic truth is a direct byproduct of public school and media indoctrination. If you are a leftist elite, this deficiency is a feature, not a bug, because you don’t want the masses to think. You want them to parrot simplistic mantras and to assume the in-crowd position. Makes life easier then having to deal with the destructive social consequences of ones pathetic ideology. You can only avoid that for so long, however. Reality will eventually crash the party and when it does things are going to get very ugly.

Blogger James Dixon June 07, 2015 1:34 PM  

> I need to start selling my books used to help others avoid new TOR books.

If you're selling any Wright, you might want to mention it here. I'm sure there would be takers.

Blogger wrf3 June 07, 2015 2:04 PM  

Mr.MantraMan asked: Why would VD want Tor to remove it's SJW they are in fact his comparative advantage

Because it's high time the SJWs had their noses rubbed into the practices of their own making.
They won't get it, any more than a puppy does, but the rest of the world needs to see just how toxic these people are.

Furthermore, Vox competes on the quality of the work, which, while enhanced by good editing, is still more dependent on the author. That is, if I had to make a choice, I'd take bad editing of a Heinlein work over great editing of a Swirsky work.

Blogger automatthew June 07, 2015 2:07 PM  

BOB K MANDO: "this would be the second reason why i am not a Minion."

We don't care.

Blogger Elocutioner0226 June 07, 2015 2:24 PM  

14. luagha June 07, 2015 12:28 PM
Far be it from me to reveal the grand design; but this is a fabulous way to identify and remove the SJWs at Tor while keeping the quality individuals.


Gallo has been there 22 years. Patrick sits near the top. And nothing's been done (publicly) about Moshe. What are the chances that the whole stinking thing isn't rotten to the core? Didn't they just close their UK branch? Reality is starting to rub up against them.

Anonymous The other robot June 07, 2015 2:25 PM  

On the other hand, I am reading John Ringo's "Live Free or Die" right now, and am going to actively pursue reading books by other authors published by Baen Books.

I made the mistake of purchasing the latest MilSF offering from Baen as linked to from File770.com.

The fact that it was linked to from File770.com should have warned me. Don't buy it. It is a shit sandwich. Full of strong independent women doing things women don't do.

The only good story in it was one by Michael Z Williamson, and even that was a slog to get through because it had so many soldiers concerned for their own mental well-being.

Don't waste your money! Stay away from it.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer June 07, 2015 2:35 PM  

Actually, I think most SJWs read that passage and think you support acid attacks on women because they are just that stupid.

Blogger VD June 07, 2015 2:39 PM  

I would suggest either RIDING THE RED HORSE or THERE WILL BE WAR if you are looking for mil-SF.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer June 07, 2015 2:40 PM  

Actually, I think most SJWs read that passage and think you support acid attacks on women because they are just that stupid.

Anonymous Joe June 07, 2015 2:44 PM  

What if the SJWs really are stupid and interpret that statement to imply support? Often people on forums confuse personal support for a conclusion of an argument with the presentation of the argument. They could be suspicious and uncharitable or they could (also) be stupid.

Anonymous The other robot June 07, 2015 2:50 PM  

I would suggest either RIDING THE RED HORSE or THERE WILL BE WAR if you are looking for mil-SF.

I have both of those, and I have There Will Be War III in PB.

It is amusing that Clarke had a story in TWBW III that while dated was very well done.

However, the real antidote to that crap MilSF from Baen is MOAR Kratman!

Anonymous MrGreenMan June 07, 2015 2:50 PM  

@Ron Winkleheimer

Remember how we had to endure "the party of nuance" and the ridicule that the right only sees black and white back when John French Kerry was campaigning in '03 and '04?

Well, it was probably projection, because they don't appear to be able to read a paragraph.

They appear to require an existential evil, and then they define all out-group activities as evil, then they can believe anything said about out group members. Good for warren morale.

Just look at how many of them get fooled and then come back with something like "how sad is it that I could believe that about them! those RWNJs are horrible people who do horrible things because of my imagination!" as if their gullibility was not the problem, the evilness of people outside their group is the problem, and it requires no proof of actions because badthink is enough.

I first noticed this when I saw all the Facebook morons maybe 7-8 years ago posting and repeating this thing from Dan Savage about how allegedly some good German Lutherans (because, of course, there are just tons of evangelicals in Germany, right? And, if you're going to smack protestants, Garrison Keillor showed that Lutherans are the best target...) who had been waiting for a child, had been married for some long length of time, but had never had sex....and Dan Savage held it up in his column as an example of the problem with abstinence-only education, and, when it was shown to be false, he did not own it, but made one of the first uses of that "yeah, but you could believe those other guys are that evil, so, let's assume it might as well be true" that I remember actually resonating instead of being laughed at as an attempt to dig a deeper hole instead of admit a mistake.

Blogger Doc Rampage June 07, 2015 3:15 PM  

The other robot:
Unfortunately, Michael Z. Williamson seems to be a huge fan of PTSD and of Marxist theories of human behavior (but I repeat myself) and of Utopian ideas of prehistory. I'm sorry to say that the combination ruined A Long Time Until Now. I try not to let an author's world view affect my enjoyment of a story, but after a point it really messes with your suspension of disbelief when every single soldier is mentally incapable of handling stress and when people living in the stone age are peaceful because there is just nothing to fight over (which is stupid in two ways: that people who have everything they need don't fight over stuff and that people whose very survival depends on living in the right location and having the best tools and the best shelter available have nothing to fight over).

Anonymous MrGreenMan June 07, 2015 3:17 PM  

@Doc Rampage

If it's a utopian prehistory he's trying to regain, well, I hate to break it to you, but we have based on reliable sources using the new definition that makes him a right-wing fascist, since we're told fascism is just about appealing to a past state of being and trying to recover it.

Future Americans who suggest that we used to be a wealthy country as well as a free country, and propose ways to regain material comforts and wealth, will also be branded fascists, regardless of what the minimum annual income requirements are.

Anonymous Tom H. June 07, 2015 3:46 PM  

I read the sample chapters of "A Long Time Until Now" and couldn't get past the ultra feminist who was able to kick the prehistoric dudes ass without even getting dirty and the male Lt. barely won his fight.

Anonymous Joe (VFM #330) June 07, 2015 4:08 PM  

We need URLs for the Facebook post and the Tweet! That way we can take larger screenshots quickly!

Blogger Dexter June 07, 2015 4:28 PM  

every single soldier is mentally incapable of handling stress

Which van Creveld notes is a modern invention, and only seems to infect societies who have "psychiatrists" looking for it.

http://www.martin-van-creveld.com/?p=174

and when people living in the stone age are peaceful because there is just nothing to fight over

Ha. The fact that all conflict is ultimately about mates and bananas was even more starkly obvious back then.

Grog kick your ass and take your woman!

Blogger VD June 07, 2015 4:30 PM  

the original link. https://www.facebook.com/igallo/posts/10152728739637461?hc_location=ufi

And here is a link to it at archive.is https://archive.is/3Mtt1

Anonymous GaryH June 07, 2015 4:33 PM  

Another good book, first published in 1987, is Battlefields Beyond Tomorrow: Science Fiction War Stories

25 tales by Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Robert A. Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Joe W. Haldeman, Philip K. Dick, Harry Harrison, Jack Vance, and 16 other masters.

Blogger Franz Lionheart June 07, 2015 4:55 PM  

I will not buy a new book from TOR until these asshats are no longer at the helm. TBH Its not a huge loss, I can get the few things they publish that are worth reading from a used book store or perhaps library.

I really want to have the rest of the Count to a Trillion series on my Kindle.

Also, I like quite a lot of Neal Asher's books. Also Tor published, apparently. He doesn't seem to be discussed a lot, neither here nor by the Torlings. Also nothing from or about him in connection to the Hugos. He surely is heads and shoulders above Scalzi in terms of imagination, suspense, story. I haven't read anything recent, but I cannot recall anything SJW-y, no awkward gay token characters, feminist narrative, or any similar rubbish distraction from the story.

Any of the ilk have read him? Is he just too small (no idea - seems to have a solid following of fans judging by the Amazon reviews)? Is he just too English? Anyone else likes his stories?

Anonymous Steve June 07, 2015 5:21 PM  

I really liked "A Long Time Until Now".

It was different from the usual stuff I read - I like military sci-fi in the Tom Kratman style, golden age science fiction from Asimov, Heinlein and so on, and urban fantasy of the sort Correia, Butcher, and Dan Wells write so well.

There was a lot of writing about the mechanics of surviving in the stone age, building tents and latrines and so on. That might be off putting to some folks, but I found it interesting. (I also very much enjoyed the military logistics described in "A Desert Called Peace", maybe it comes down to your personal preference for how much detail you like in your entertainment.)

I was strongly reminded of Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld while reading Long Time, not a bad thing in my book.

Re: the peaceful stone agers.

I don't think this was much of a stretch. Williamson was writing about a place and time where humans were scarce and food abundant. That wouldn't have worked in Ice Age Europe, or anywhere else where humans started to outnumber the good foraging spots, and may or may not be accurate when describing prehistoric central Asia, but it worked in the context of the story.

Even in 19th century America, some native tribes were friendly (according to Lewis and Clark), and some were fierce. So I didn't find it difficult to believe that an isolated tribe of prehistorics might be easygoing.

Re: PTSD. I'm not a big fan of mopey protagonists - one of the flaws in Marko Kloos' otherwise commendable recent books is that he goes on at great length about the hero's feelbads. But again, in the context of Williamson's story, I think it worked well enough. He wasn't writing about hardened warriors from Seal Team Six, but a mixed bag of US military personnel from different branches, some of them reservists.

The feminist character was annoying. I think she was meant to be. I don't recall her being portrayed as an implausible lady super-soldier, though she was apparently a proficient marksman.

I hope that if Williamson writes a follow up I hope it has fewer emotions, fewer scenes where a paranoid feminist worries about being raped, more fighting and more strange future technology. He's done the time travel shock thing, I the next book to be more action-oriented.

But still, I enjoyed "A Long Time Until Now" and would recommend it if you are looking for something a bit different from typical military sci fi. Sometimes it's nice to have a change of pace.

Blogger Happy Idiot June 07, 2015 5:53 PM  

Neal Asher writes stuff that the vast majority of VFM should enjoy. His only female protagonist, and there's not a lot of those, are enhanced, which makes it tolerable for me.

Neal is an AGW skeptic, and politically on the right. He IS an atheist, but he doesn't promo it or denigrate religion.

If you're look for a good place to start, I'd recommend "The Skinner"

Anonymous The other robot June 07, 2015 6:14 PM  

Neal Asher writes stuff that the vast majority of VFM should enjoy. His only female protagonist, and there's not a lot of those, are enhanced, which makes it tolerable for me.

In what way were they enhanced? Perhaps they are no longer female like those Olympic competitors from East Germany.

Blogger James Sullivan June 07, 2015 6:19 PM  

Regarding PTSD, If anyone hasn't read it already, Sebastian Junger has a very interesting article:

www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/05/ptsd-war-home-sebastian-junger

Blogger tweell June 07, 2015 6:32 PM  

I also liked Williamson's 'A Long Time Until Now'. I would note that the lieutenant fought the tribe's best warrior and had to fight fair, while the woman dealt with one of the rank and file by kneeing him in the balls.

Blogger Doc Rampage June 07, 2015 6:40 PM  

I like the hardware stuff. In fact that's why I like the "stuck in the past" genre and why I picked up this book. It's sort of the Sci Fi version of Robinson Crusoe.

But come on. There must thirty or forty references to or discussions of the problems of elimination scattered through the book. The topic is just not that interesting. Sure mention a couple of times how modern people take privacy and sanitation for granted. Discuss how a proper outhouse is built. And then let it go. Same with some guy's concern about his stomach issues and the fact that his anti-acid drugs are running out. Not worth the twenty or thirty mentions. Same with the wonder-woman feminist character and her pathological fear that every man is a rapist. OK, we got it, she's a nut. Lets not keep going back to it.

I could even live with the idea that a woman trained in martial arts could defeat a barbarian soldier. Sure, it's laughable in reality, but the magical powers of Asian martial arts have a long and honorable history in fiction. Let him who has never kung fu kicked someone in a mock fight cast the first stone.

I also don't have problems with running into a peaceful indigenous culture. I don't even mind some character opining that man in his natural state lives in a state of peace with nature and other men. I just go, "OK, that guy's an idjit".

I don't even mind the occasional PTSD wimp, but *all* of them? Like PTSD is a normal and expected reaction to stressful situations?

So it's not one single factor, but there are limits to how much of all that I can take, and this book well exceeded the limits. I could edit out about half of the book and it would be a lot better.

Blogger Hammerli280 June 07, 2015 6:49 PM  

What bugs me is that the Warrior Woman stereotype is so often a cover for bad writing. A female protoganist working within her limits would be much more interesting.

Blogger Nate Winchester June 07, 2015 7:10 PM  

Updated archive link.

Favorite line:
Lauren K. Cannon A half dozen dudes are sea-lioning a facebook post! Tor is doomed! Call in the fire brigade!
Lauren K. Cannon Please return to the ocean, sea lions.


From KnowYourMeme: "Sea-Lioning is an Internet slang term referring to intrusive attempts at engaging an unwilling debate opponent by feigning civility and incessantly requesting evidence to back up their claims" (emphasis mine)

Ah yes, evidence is now a logical fallacy. That their brains have not broken from the logical paradox is just further proof of their lack thereof.

Encyclopedia Dramatica, your thoughts?

"Sea-lioning is a logical fallacy which states that facts don't matter when opinion is involved. The latest in Tumblrina fucktardery, sea-lioning is what happens when a rational person questions the validity of mayonnaise as a gender. "

Blogger Dexter June 07, 2015 7:25 PM  

@Nate,

You mean sea-lioning isn't when a bunch of female SJWs start bellowing about the outrageous outrage du jour?

Blogger Bies Podkrakowski June 07, 2015 7:37 PM  

@Happy Idiot

"Neal (...) IS an atheist, but he doesn't promo it or denigrate religion."

We had to read different Neal Ashers then. Granted, he generally keeps away from this topic but when he starts harping about evils of organized worship and irrationality it goes downhill very fast. His portrayal of Masadan society for example or many other jabs at religion in numerous places.

What fascinates me is his worship of AIs. It is as if he replaced religion with them.

However he has a lot of explosions, nasty flesh-eating monsters and homicidal war drones. Those are his saving graces.

Blogger Nate Winchester June 07, 2015 7:55 PM  

@Dexter

Nah, it's the sanity/logic response that occurs after the bellowing. (like how a body causes a fever when attacked by viruses) It's essentially their short hand for "shut up and stop fighting back guys!"

Anonymous zen0 June 07, 2015 9:52 PM  

This is the third bigwig at Tor who took a cheap shot at their own authors and customers. Does anyone there have any common sense? Where the hell is Tom?

Tom is enthralled by the headlights

Blogger Thucydides June 07, 2015 9:59 PM  

WRT PTSD, even ancient writers have described symptoms of what seems similar to what modern armies describe under various names (In the Canadian Army is now often called "Occupational Stress Injury"). Perhaps the reason it wasn't quite so prevalent in the past is that most military units of the time were far more homogenous (so soldiers were among long term comrades and friends) and that combat, while violent and shockling, took place in short, intense episodes with relatively long breaks in between.

Motivation was also different: warrior cultures were in it for glory, and even early modern armies were often impelled by the prospect of loot, two things modern conscript and professional armies don't provide.

Col Dave Grossman also has a theory (for what it is worth, I'm not entirely convinced of the numbers) which suggests that 98% of the population is composed of "sheep", who are productive but not particularly aggressive or take a lot of initiative. The other 1% are divided into the pathological "Wolves" who prey on sheep, and the other 1% are the "Sheepdog" who have the same initiative and aggression, but also have the regard for the "Sheep". Sheep would be very prone to suffer from stress related injuries, while the Wolves and Sheepdogs would not. Considering that today we have a very large military establishment with people enticed to join for pay, benefits and educational opportunities rather than "Glory" or the ability to overcome challenges (you have to volunteer twice to do that, once to get in , and then again to attempt selection for the actual "warrior" branches of the military like the SoF), then by Grossman's reckoning there are actually a lot of "sheep" in uniform who are not particularly able to deal with stress.

Anonymous clk June 07, 2015 10:09 PM  

"Hey ..you are the guy from the internet... you're famous"

Blogger J Van Stry June 07, 2015 10:13 PM  

Many years ago, I was involved in a particular fandom (which was rather small) several of the artists in it that I personally knew where trying to get jobs at comic book publishers but could not.

During that time, I used to occasionally have dinner with the managing VP of one of the big three comic book publishers in the USA. I asked him about it once, hoping maybe I could help one of my friends out, and he told me he would never hire anyone from that fandom, and neither would anyone else in the business.

The reason? Because a small comic book house published an issue that was made up of nothing but insults for everyone in the fandom; fans, artists, and writers. Mind you, this fandom is where 99 percent of their sales came from. Where all their artists came from. Where all their writers came from. Needless to say they went out of business in six months because almost no one would buy them anymore.

Well this VP told me: If comics felt so poorly about their fans and their talent that they published that issue, then there is NO WAY any of us will ever hire any of those people.

When I told people about this, boy did they get upset. At ME. For telling them the facts. ( comics always maintained that it was 'just a joke' and there were folks dumb enough to believe them). Now I don't know if this will put TOR out of business, they haven't insulted all of their readers (yet), but I'm sure this is going to make a dent in their sales. And if they continue the way they are going, well it is only a matter of time until they actually DO insult their readers to the point that they won't be able to make enough sales to keep the doors open.

The fact that the management doesn't care speaks volumes about their attitudes towards not only the readers, but the authors as well.

Blogger J Van Stry June 07, 2015 10:36 PM  

On the previous comment I put 'blank' in angle brackets in the last two paragraphs, and it got dropped (my bad) so where is says 'comics' in those last two paragraphs, it should say 'blank comics', I didn't want to put in any names.

Anonymous zen0 June 07, 2015 11:02 PM  

@ Thucydides

Perhaps the reason it wasn't quite so prevalent in the past is that most military units of the time were far more homogenous (so soldiers were among long term comrades and friends) and that combat, while violent and shockling, took place in short, intense episodes with relatively long breaks in between.

Or, perhaps like my family's experience of veterans from ww1 and 2, everyone just expected you to get over it and get on with life, especially if you still had all your body parts, you know, because there was no disability payment at the end of the rainbow.

My siblings and I joke that we have PTSD by proxy, but maybe its not some amusing speculation, but the truth.

Blogger ScuzzaMan June 08, 2015 12:17 AM  

Publishers tend to think like TV stations or radio; their underlying assumption is that the channel is unidirectional. They don't understand markets as conversations in the way, for example, Vox does. They don't grok the power of the individual. For them even their star authors are dependents. The 'net and its implications are killing them because they don't know what reality is nor how to respond to it.

Anonymous Jonathan June 08, 2015 12:54 AM  

Dont bother responding over there as it will just get deleted.

Blogger automatthew June 08, 2015 1:13 AM  

Boycotting Tor is serious for me. I have five must-buy authors:

* Gene Wolfe
* John C. Wright
* Michael Flynn
* Neal Stephenson
* Dave Duncan.

The first three are currently published by Tor. Dave Duncan had a few books published by them a few years ago, but none since. Interestingly, Duncan and JCW's wife have the same agent, Richard Curtis.

Gene Wolfe has a new novel due out in October. That makes a boycott extra hard for me. I have bought everything he has published in hardcover, as soon as available, since 2005.

I'll do it, though. I am that pissed off at Tor.

Blogger automatthew June 08, 2015 1:47 AM  

Muse's new album is titled Drones. It could be the soundtrack to Riding the Red Horse.

Killed by remote control...

Blogger automatthew June 08, 2015 2:01 AM  

And the reviews of Drones betray the full court press prepared in advance.

OpenID malcolmthecynic June 08, 2015 2:43 AM  

Yeah. Boycott Gene Wolfe? Too far for me.

Anonymous Yngvar June 08, 2015 3:50 AM  

So what you are saying is that you don't support acid attacks? Seems sufficient on its face.

Blogger VD June 08, 2015 6:12 AM  

Yeah. Boycott Gene Wolfe? Too far for me.

You're missing the point. If you won't sacrifice anything to win, you will lose.

Anonymous black knight June 08, 2015 6:40 AM  

1. Buy the book used, or steal the ebook.
2. Send the author a donation directly via PayPal

Easy solution... cuts Tor out completely.

Blogger Dexter June 08, 2015 9:12 AM  

Gene Wolfe is still alive and writing books? Who knew!

Also,

3. The library!

Blogger Joshua Dyal June 08, 2015 11:37 AM  

Perhaps it's merely coincidence, but the only Tor title I've bought in five years was a single Brandon Sanderson novel which I gave up on half way through because it bored the crap out of me. I am certainly capable of paying attention the publisher and making sure not to spend any more money on them, but realistically that won't accomplish much because I'm already not much of a customer of Tor anyway.

But I'm more than happy to "#GamerGate" the crap out of them. To whom should we direct our irate concerns? Who can we complain to that's actually likely to notice and be able to do something about this?

Blogger epobirs June 08, 2015 4:26 PM  

#52

I would take anything Grossman says with a boulder-sized chunk of salt. Get him on the subject of video games and it becomes clear he is quite simply nuts. So far beyond the pale in ascribing all sorts of threats to civiliation tot he playing of video games as to make me question any other opinion he renders rather than succumb to Gell-Mann Amnesia.

Blogger epobirs June 08, 2015 5:09 PM  

#65

The #1 bit of advice I'd give to any author is to make sure people have a means to give you money. E-books are very small compared to stuff like HD movies, so even somebody on dial-up can acquire a substantial library via torrents in a day. The fan looking to offer a reward isn't necessarily going through channels of dubious legality. They may be someone with very limited disposable income who depends on their local library but wishes to give something back to a prolific author. Putting five bucks directly in that author's pocket isn't going to put the kids through college but it adds up. (Respect for our host demands I mention that this can be applied to a small publisher like Castalia that has far fewer layers between the reader and writer.)

Peter F. Hamilton put out a book a while back called 'Misspent Youth.' It was a bit of a misfire but had a great subplot regarding the source of the main character's immense wealth. He invented a non-volatile storage medium that put immense capacity (Hamilton wisely didn't get specific) in anyone's pocket for a few bucks, allowing you have every bit of content that caught your interest at hand. As so often happens, an SF story set decades in the future was already happening. The sweet spot for USB flash drive right now is 128 GB for around $30, if you keep your out for a sale. Using the latest codecs a single one of these drives can store a LOT of 1080p video. I have one drive in my pocket right now (out of the cumulative 2 TB I regularly carry) with Seasons 1 and 2 of 'The 100' and the entirety to date of 'Sense8.' The 'The 100' episodes are a lot fatter than they need to be, so the whole lot is taking up about 55 GB out of 119 available after formatting.

Anyway, in the book the availability of such immense personal storage plays havoc with copyright enforcement and the government ultimately gives up, allowing the creative economy to be driven by patronage rather than retail sales. On his site I gave Hamilton credit for seeing this likely future but noted that this was already happening and his site lacked any place for someone to drop him a few quid.

One example of how this is working right now can be seen at RiffTrax. Made up of several cast member from Mystery Science Theater 3000, RiffTrax offers smart-ass overlay audio played in synchronization with DVDs and Blu-ray discs. This frees them to take on a far wider range of items than were available to them during the MST3K days. But this also means it takes more effort on the part of the purchaser and worse, they need to have access to the content being mocked, and who want to indirectly reward the producers of crap like the Twilight series?

A solution can be found on torrent sites. Just search for RiffTrax and you'll find tons of these turkeys with the RiffTrax audio integrated into the file. Far more convenient but now you're screwing both the maker of the bad movie and the RiffTrax folks. Understanding that this cannot be stopped by any reasonable means, RiffTrax instead ignores it and simply has a DONATIONS link on their site. As I mentioned the other day, if I suddenly came into an incredibly self-indulgent level of wealth, I'd drop a big chunk of change on RiffTrax. Just because I could.

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