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Thursday, September 05, 2013

John Ringo on a 2013 Hugo winner

The Baen Books author wonders how much longer conservative and libertarian readers are going to continue to buy derivative books written by a progressive male demi-feminist who openly despises them:
So about the whole Scalzi 'thing.'

Scalzi was pissing me off even before getting a Hugo for a novel so remarkably unremarkable it would barely have made it to paperback in the 1970s. Nothing against it, it's a fun, simple, mindless, read from all I've gathered. But it's not exactly Stranger in a Strange Land or Nightfall.

Scalzi is president of SFWA (sort of the writer's union for SF authors) or whatever they're calling it this week. As president instead of, oh, I dunno, working to get better generalized terms for new authors, ensuring contracts are upheld with publishers, maybe, someday, getting a fucking health care insurer for all us authors who don't have health insurance, he'd been concentrating on IMPORTANT matters like making sure all characters were called s/he and women weren't being harassed at cons (which happens and is up to the convention people to manage) and... The list of 'not-core-issue' kerfuffles he's been involved in as president makes you think he's president of ACORN not an SF union. And it was not only driving out members (or they were expelling members for 'bad-speak') it was making the group as irrelevant as the opinion of an abyssal nematode.

But I wasn't the only one that Scalzi was pissing off. And that's sort of the important point for Scalzi....

Which is where we start to see the issues with Scalzi suddenly not so much 'coming out of the closet' but making a splash on a variety of hot-button issues that really don't sit well with his RETAIL market. The people who actually BUY the books over the counter as opposed to market, sell and even buy them for distribution. The more books you can get a bookstore to buy, the more likely you are to sell them. So being the poster child for your commercial people is a good thing.
Pissing off the people who in the end have to actually buy the books to read.... Not so much.

And the market fraction of true 'Modern Progressives' who read combat SF is HYSTERICALLY low.
Many people who used to be fans of the 2013 Best Novel winner are beginning to figure out that Scalzi is a fraud, not so much because he exaggerates his daily blog readership by a mere 46,000 readers (or, if you prefer, 1,150 percent), but in terms of him being an original writer or one who is even remotely considerate of conservative or libertarian perspectives.  It's possible, I suppose, that the all-seeing eye of Instapundit, who used to push Scalzi's books on a regular basis, happens to be totally unaware of the Hugo awards, which he has not seen fit to mention.

Or perhaps the libertarian opinion leader has, like Mr. Ringo, gradually had his eyes opened to the real Scalzi, to the man's increasingly vocal support for insane left-wing policies, to his hatred for free association, and to his complete flip-flop on free speech.  Remember, back in 2005, before he was established in the science fiction world, Scalzi was claiming that he wouldn't want to see anyone expelled from SFWA for their beliefs. In 2013, he quit paying his SFWA dues and threatened to quit the organization entirely if someone wasn't expelled from the SFWA for their beliefs.

How things change once a man feels he can afford to reveal his true character.

Unlike Mr. Ringo, I'm genuinely pleased that McRapey won the Hugo for a mediocre and derivative novel. That isn't false magnanimity, it is merely that I am publicly on record as stating that the awards in the SF field became a hopelessly politicized joke when incoming SFWA president Catharine Asaro won the Nebula for The Quantum Rose in 2002. I drew considerable ire from many SFWA members for pointing that out on Black Gate last year, and I view three-time SFWA president John Scalzi's Hugo for Redshirts as conclusive evidence in support of my hypothesis.

I also found it amusing that even McRapey's little Twitter friend at the Guardian wrote about the Hugo awards with a distinct damned-by-faint-praise air to the article.

There is something else too, something darker. I once accidentally won a drawing award when I was six. I can't draw at all and so I traced an image of a wood duck for a homework assignment. I had absolutely no idea that the teacher would send it into the Star as part of a big state-wide school competition, still less that I would win it for my 5-7 age group. That bloody duck was even featured in the Minneapolis newspaper. I don't think my mother realized I wasn't an artist until after I had graduated from college and she never figured out why both the newspaper clippings and the award disappeared.

So I speak from experience when I say that the only thing that rankles the soul more than merit that goes unrecognized is recognition that the receiver knows is unmerited. As writers, we know very well where our books stand in comparison with the greats as well as which of our contemporaries merit being numbered among them. That is why there are few things I could do to more cruelly scar the hypersensitive McRapey over time than the voting WorldCon membership has now done. Once the excitement from his long-sought Sally Field moment fades and the inevitable self-doubts creep in - for the narcissistic gamma male is ever prone to self-doubts as well as grandiose delusions - well, that's when it should get interesting.

At least he'll always have his lawn.

On the other hand, there are still those, like Professor Bainbridge, who not only don't know mediocre science fiction when they see it, but are from the short-sighted conservative school of thought that is proud to materially support the very progressives, socialists and Trotskyites who seek to destroy it.  I can't say I blame him, as I used to be inclined to a libertarian view of that perspective until the creation of Fox News made it very clear what a severe price had been paid over time for the privilege of feeling open-minded.

Another discussion of Ringo's observations of John Scalzi's achievement in left-liberal politicking, including an appearance by the Toad of Tor herself, can be found here. Note that you have to turn off NoScript to see the comments.

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103 Comments:

Anonymous David September 05, 2013 4:39 AM  

I don't care, I'm still free

You can't take my lawn from me....

Blogger Francis W. Porretto September 05, 2013 4:50 AM  

I don't quite grasp the surprise about Scalzi's politics. He's been an open, fairly extreme leftist since he first posted his "here's my novel; if you like it, send me a dollar" announcement on his blog "Whatever." Moreover, he's never been particularly receptive to anyone's viewpoint but his own.

I haven't read any of Scalzi's books, but if they're mediocre entertainment, that's really all one need say about them. As for SFWA, the Hugos, the Nebulas, and so forth, perhaps we should simply close that chapter of science fiction history and pass on to something worthwhile. As we used to say in college, it's "played."

Anonymous Porky September 05, 2013 4:56 AM  

It is a nice lawn.

Anonymous VD September 05, 2013 4:58 AM  

I don't quite grasp the surprise about Scalzi's politics.

Most of those who read his books don't read his blog. I mean, the math alone dictates that. And since he's writing SF Combat Lite, most of those who read Old Man's War didn't pick up on the fact that he's a poisonous little lefty. Ringo is saying that his popularity will decline now that he's achieved sufficient status for his readers to be aware of what he is. Whether that will be the case or not, I do not know.

Anonymous TJIC September 05, 2013 5:05 AM  

I'm with Vox; I'm thrilled that Scalzi got a Hugo. It may look like he's winning a battle, but it's a tactically stupid move for the left-fans and it's exposing a flank (the fact that the awards emperor has no clothes and is a popularity contest) that will help destroy the publishing cathedral.

Anonymous Jack Amok September 05, 2013 5:05 AM  

I don't quite grasp the surprise about Scalzi's politics.

I don't think there has to be any surprise. Ringo was noting that while Scalzi's politics play well to the liberals in the publishing industry, they don't play well at all to the core audience for the type of fiction he writes. As people in that core audience become aware of his politics, they tend to stop buying his stuff.

No surprise involved. Most people really don't go out of their way to investigate the politics of their entertainers (and those who do are probalby liberals), but the more political diatribes you launch into, the more chance there is someone happens across it and thinks "gee, this guy is kinda screwy" and then has trouble enjoying his stuff after that.

And I'm not at all sure it's "played." There is something happening in the SF/F market. It's stagnated badly at the moment, smothered by a publishing industry too caught up in court intrigue to serve their customers. But there's still a demand, perhaps a latent one, but a demand for something the old channels aren't providing any longer. That means new channels are likely to appear. What they will be, how they will form and develop, that hasn't "played" yet at all.

Anonymous WaterBoy September 05, 2013 5:14 AM  

Vox: "I view three-time SFWA president John Scalzi's Hugo for Redshirts as conclusive evidence in support of my hypothesis."

No, no, no...you've got it all wrong.

He got the award...for no particular reason at all.

Anonymous Nathan September 05, 2013 5:46 AM  

@TJIC,

I think that flank might be under assault.

Some of the interesting things that came out of Ringo calling out Scalzi's recent activities as grandstanding for Hugo votes were accusation of corruption in the vote-counters and that there are people conducting an independent evaluation of the voting results. (There was also an accusation that Tor seemed to have undue influence on the awards, but that only surfaced after a Tor editor challenged Ringo on the thread, and by a fan.)

Anonymous zen0 September 05, 2013 5:55 AM  

It is a nice lawn.

It may be, but it is entirely derivative of the English estate lawns of the 1600's.

And I bet it is soaked with un-PC pesticides.

Anonymous Porky September 05, 2013 5:58 AM  

I still can't wrap my head around how an award that has been bestowed on the likes of Heinlein, Asimov and Bradbury can even be considered to be bestowed upon a derivative fan-fiction.

Originality is the very soul of science fiction. At least it was at one time.




Anonymous VD September 05, 2013 5:58 AM  

that only surfaced after a Tor editor challenged Ringo on the thread,

A Tor editor? Show some respect, Nathan. That was the Toad of Tor her own fat and warty self!

Anonymous Anonagain September 05, 2013 6:04 AM  

So I speak from experience when I say that the only thing that rankles the soul more than merit that goes unrecognized is recognition that the receiver knows is unmerited.

The standard by which you measure Gamma Rabbit is alien to him. You must realize that you and Scalzi have very little in common. Everything Scalzi has comes from conniving, plotting, speculating and positioning himself for receiving unmerited recognition. What rankles your soul is Scalzi's definitive character trait.

Anonymous Toby Temple September 05, 2013 6:13 AM  

I still can't wrap my head around how an award that has been bestowed on the likes of Heinlein, Asimov and Bradbury can even be considered to be bestowed upon a derivative fan-fiction.

If bars can be set to high then it can be set to low.

Think of the children!!!

Anonymous Anonagain September 05, 2013 6:15 AM  

It's like Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Do you seriously believe that narcissistic creature's soul is rankled in the slightest? One must first have scruples to be rankled by unmerited recognitions. Leftists have none. They thrive on unmerited recognition.

Anonymous p-dawg September 05, 2013 6:18 AM  

When I was a child, I put stock in awards. Nebula, Hugo, and/or the Caldecott seal or whatever they put on kid's books pretty much guaranteed I'd read the book. But over the years, I've read enough "award-winning" crap and enough great but non-award-winning books to know that relying upon such things is just another way of telling a book by its cover. Which, although we all do it, is not necessarily effective.

Anonymous Porky September 05, 2013 6:35 AM  

It's like Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

The NPP has been a progressive vanity daisy-chain from the beginning.


Anonymous VD September 05, 2013 6:41 AM  

You must realize that you and Scalzi have very little in common.

Of course. But I doubt he and his fans would be so defensive if they did not recognize the general truth of the accusations, regardless of whether they concern his grotesquely exaggerated blog traffic or his unmerited literary award.

I mean, Glenn Reynolds wouldn't care if you claimed his blog traffic was exaggerated by 11,500 percent. I don't care when people say I'm stupid or The Greatest Pensman in All Carantinopolis says I'm the worst writer in the history of literature. People tend to get defensive when they know the charges are at least in the vicinity of the truth, not when it's just some lunatic ranting in a delusional manner.

Anonymous Anonagain September 05, 2013 6:57 AM  

People tend to get defensive when they know the charges are at least in the vicinity of the truth, not when it's just some lunatic ranting in a delusional manner.

Well, throwing it back in his face is another matter. Public ridicule cannot be so easily cast aside when the charges have some validity.

I was going by your own story. You were never publicly called out for that undeserved prize but it still bothered you. I could never imagine Scalzi having this kind of private angst over an undeserved prize.

Anonymous Josh September 05, 2013 7:00 AM  

I could never imagine Scalzi having this kind of private angst over an undeserved prize.

If he knows he's a fraud, there's a part of him that's terrified that everyone else will figure it out.

Anonymous Anonagain September 05, 2013 7:05 AM  

Yes, that's probably so. A fraud's fear of being discovered is understandable, but I don't think this is what Vox was referring to. Neither was I.

Anonymous VD September 05, 2013 7:13 AM  

You were never publicly called out for that undeserved prize but it still bothered you. I could never imagine Scalzi having this kind of private angst over an undeserved prize.

Ah, okay, that's fair enough. I take your point. Actually, what was worse, or very nearly so, was the time that I wasn't voted MVP by my high school JV soccer team when I scored the majority of the team's goals. I had no problem with that, and even voted for the winner, a senior who was cut from the varsity, but instead of quitting as most seniors in that position did, played JV and was our captain and emotional leader.

The coach tried make up some fake award for scoring a goal in every game just because he felt bad and thought I should be recognized somehow. I had to spend about 10 minutes that evening convincing him not to give it to me because I felt very strongly that the right guy won. I may have scored a lot, but that selfless senior was the reason we were undefeated and he laid the foundation for next year's varsity team that made it to the State quarterfinals despite having only five players back from the year before.

Anonymous timothy September 05, 2013 7:27 AM  

Did you ever draw Sparky?

Blogger lubertdas September 05, 2013 7:48 AM  

I'm about as disconnected with SF fandom as possible, but my connection to Scalzi seems to be quite typical:

Picked up "Old Man's War" based on a recommendation from Instapundit and enjoyed it.

Picked up the sequel to "Old Man's War" and it was so unremarkable that I can't even remember the title.

I visited "whatever" a few times and I was struck by the clique-ishness there. Scalzi ruled with a iron fist/banhammer, and anyone who disagreed was gone, regardless of how well thought out their point was.

Bottom line: I don't purchase or read anything by Scalzi and I certainly don't visit his website.

So yes... while I was initially a fan, I'm not any more.

Why? Probably 10% because of his writing and 90% because of his attitude/politics.

Blogger IM2L844 September 05, 2013 8:15 AM  

Speaking of the SF/F's changing market, I was catching up on watching SF/F movies I had meant to watch, but had never got around to and rented "Watchmen" yesterday. I was blown away that this film didn't receive more critical acclaim than I remember it getting. I thought it was phenomenal. 4 stars.

Scalzi says he is in talks for a movie deal on Redshirts and I'm curious to find out how far his social pandering will take him in that market where the critics and the consumers are often at odds.

I don't plan on reading the book, but I might spend a couple of bucks to rent the movie 4 or 5 years after it comes out just to satisfy my curiosity if it ever does. Given the administrative demographics of the movie industry I wouldn't count it out.

Anonymous Anonagain September 05, 2013 8:21 AM  

You're a good sport, Vox.

Good sportsmanship and good character go together. Wouldn't be surprised if Scalzi cheated at hide and seek - probably the roughest game he's ever played.

Blogger Old Harry September 05, 2013 8:33 AM  

Ringo is great. He's been there and done that and can write about it. His work captures what I enjoyed about Heinlein, Drake, Niven and Pournelle.

On the "what's next" issue: Consider the music industry being in a similar state of flux. My kids don't listen to anything that could remotely be called "pop". My oldest daughter (18) listens to country which I think is basically 80's rock with a twang and loves Taylor Swift who I think has the niche that Amy Grant held in the 80s and 90s. Though no one is saying it, country music is now pop music for WASP.
My son (14) listens to a lot of Dream Theater and Periphery. Dream Theater, while excellent musicians, seems highly derivative of early Genesis, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and other prog bands. Periphery seems to be an emo copy of Dream Theater with a drummer that can play 32nd notes with his feet. Again, they're incredible musicians, but their music is derivative.

The availablity of a lot of music and a lot of books means we have more options, but what I think will happen isn't that the new and different bands and writers will find larger audiences. I'm afraid that we will continue to gravitate to the familiar and thus the derivative. That is why John Scalzi won a Hugo.

I made a comment on another blog that irked the host. He posted something about Frederik Pohl's passing and I commented that it was a dark day for sci-fi: Fred Pohl dies and Scalzi wins a Hugo. He violently disagreed with me about that and my response was something along the line of "Pohl's work could inspire by filling me with both a sense of wonder and existential dread. Redshirts was a Star Trek parody and did neither." The guy didn't get it and only got angry. MPAI and most people are rabbits.
And the irony of this post doesn't escape me. I like Ringo's work because it is like other stuff I've enjoyed in the past. But I'm also not afraid to read or listen to something new and different. I'm afraid that may reflect a level of maturity and intelligence lacking in society (present company excepted, of course).

Anonymous DrTorch September 05, 2013 8:38 AM  

I'm amused at how frequently Galaxy Quest is referenced when mentioning Redshirts. Scalzi couldn't even come up w/ a modestly original idea of even how to copy someone else's work. And that dialogue posted yesterday. Ugh.

Someone ought to go back and find nominees from 50-60 years ago and put them back in the running, I'm sure far better works came in 2nd place back then, than are winning today.

As for the lawn, I believe Scalzi is in SW Ohio, originally I thought he was near Canton. So it's a nice area, not even too cold. For the record, he's near Greenville, who recently ran an ad for a wrestling coach. Ah, to work at AFRL and coach HS wrestling...*sigh*.

Anonymous JACIII September 05, 2013 8:45 AM  

Scalzi won't be bothered by the undeserved award because he thinks Heinlein and Asimov got their awards in the same manner. Don't forget he's a midwit and as such is cursed to believe the greats in the field aren't really that much better than he is.

As most girls do, he thinks all recognition/achievement is the outcome of a successful popularity contest.

Anonymous The other skeptic September 05, 2013 9:15 AM  

So I speak from experience when I say that the only thing that rankles the soul more than merit that goes unrecognized is recognition that the receiver knows is unmerited.

Some people are different. You know, like sociopaths and psychopaths. They don't feel shame at undeserved rewards. They don't worry that someday someone will figure out that they are a fake.

They think that all that matters is that they have these pieces of paper that say that they are a rocket surgeon.

Blogger Old Harry September 05, 2013 9:19 AM  

What man holds a prize trophy like this?:John holding his Hugo

Anonymous Loki Sjalfsainn September 05, 2013 9:23 AM  

What man holds a prize trophy like this?

A man who fears to grasp it fully in his hand, for he knows someone will take the photograph and caption it, "The circle jerk is complete."

Anonymous Anonymous September 05, 2013 9:23 AM  

I don't know if it's so much Scalzi's political views that are the big turn off, as much as he is so transparently pandering to what he thinks is the "in" crowd.

You don't have to agree with the views of someone like Vox or Brust, for example, to appreciate that they hold those views with conviction and from an intellectual and educated standpoint.

With Scalzi, however, I don't get the impression for a moment that he actually believes what he natters on about. He's like the fat kid in grade school who helped the jocks pick on the other fat kids, so he himself would catch less abuse. Scalzi can put on as many dresses as he likes, I'll never believe he really has women's interests at heart, anymore than I think he would offer up his vast lawn as a refugee camp for all the diversity he claims to worship.

Anonymous Stilicho September 05, 2013 9:35 AM  

The leftists fail to realize that the Hugos were given credibility by the Heinleins and Asimovs, not the other way around. At this point, Scalzi has been awarded the equivalent of the Corn Queen crown at an Iowa county fair.

Anonymous TJ September 05, 2013 9:37 AM  

Like most boomers, Scalzi sees his Hugo as an entitlement. It's the an EBT Card for "paying his dues."

I can't wait till the last Baby Boomer croaks. The world will be a better place.

Blogger Old Harry September 05, 2013 9:39 AM  

@Loki: No, a man would take it by the base, hold it up in the air and say "yes, damnit!" and have his picture taken. I don't know what that creature in the picture is.

Anonymous Eric Ashley September 05, 2013 9:39 AM  

Read OMW at Insty's incessant 'the next Heinlein', and saw some good bits, but also some dumb atheist evangelizing, and was not overwhelmed. Visited Whatever a bit, but mostly had better things to do.

Redshirts, like OMW, had a good idea, but needed more development.

Better writers out there to read.

That said, OMW was definitely superior to Martin's mess.

And Ringo stepping in to kick Scalzi is an order of magnitude more dangerous for Scalzi. The destroyer took its run, and now the battleship is moving in...

Anonymous Josh September 05, 2013 9:41 AM  

What man holds a prize trophy like this?

A gay man

Anonymous VD September 05, 2013 9:48 AM  

And Ringo stepping in to kick Scalzi is an order of magnitude more dangerous for Scalzi. The destroyer took its run, and now the battleship is moving in.

First me... then Roissy... then Larry... then Ringo. Yeah, we may see him pull a full Hugo Danger before this time next year.

Anonymous Jeff September 05, 2013 9:57 AM  

Vox, I just started reading your blog a few months ago, mostly because of the SFWA controversy. I wanted to see "the thing" everyone deemed so smelly.

I have to say this: Thank you for reminding me that not all SF is in the hands of radical, myopic liberals ... that SF has a history that goes far, far back, and that to enjoy the genre, I don't need to be confined to what's being published nowadays.

Yes, I know it's obvious, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the obvious.

In other words, thanks for reminding me how much I enjoyed *good* SF.

Now I'm off to read the Heinlein I haven't read and try out Larry Correia and John Ringo.

Blogger IM2L844 September 05, 2013 10:02 AM  

The world will be a better place.

Gonna turn this ship around, eh? I don't think so, TJ. The world won't even notice. The rot will continue unabated.

Anonymous VD September 05, 2013 10:07 AM  

Vox, I just started reading your blog a few months ago, mostly because of the SFWA controversy. I wanted to see "the thing" everyone deemed so smelly.

Ah, the old unintended consequences. Welcome to the Funhouse.

Thank you for reminding me that not all SF is in the hands of radical, myopic liberals ... that SF has a history that goes far, far back, and that to enjoy the genre, I don't need to be confined to what's being published nowadays.

You are quite welcome. There is a lot of great old stuff. There is some pretty good new stuff. But you have to look further than the publisher-bought shelves of Barnes and Noble.

Anonymous Susan September 05, 2013 10:17 AM  

The fact that it bothered VD to receive an unmerited award for his art when he was a kid shows an unusual level of honesty about himself, even then, that Mr. Scalzi just isn't capable of.

His version, when it comes, will make Hugo Danger's meltdown look like a Sunday picnic.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 September 05, 2013 10:25 AM  

Yeah, we may see him pull a full Hugo Danger before this time next year

I doubt it.
His wife will never let him, because lets face it; the one thing we know for sure is that she wears the pants in the scalzi household.
But good news for him, his fabulous chateau overlooking five acres of prime Ohio real estate is double what I originally thought it was worth: a cool $173,000.
Be Jealous, Dudebros!
The current passive-aggressive "I don't know what everyone's talking about, but let me talk about it for a thousand words" schtick will be the norm until someone truly gets under his skin down to the bone.
At that point, the blog will go dark, there will be one last, cryptic tweet, and you'll soon thereafter see a story at The Guardian that a Hugo award-winning author took his own life, with sub-textual suggestions of gender confusion and a love that dare not speak its name with a former Star Trek: The Next Generation actor...

Anonymous Jolly Yon September 05, 2013 10:39 AM  

… and a love that dare not speak its name with a former Star Trek: The Next Generation actor...
Huck, he’s not like you.  He’s a flaming liberal, if he did indeed have a love that dare not speak its name with a former child star, I’m fairly sure they’d just act on it.
Also, the one thing you know for sure, you don’t actually.

Blogger Justthisguy September 05, 2013 10:49 AM  

Nah, not a destroyer. More like a Flower-class corvette: Slow, weak, under-armed, inclined to induce seasickness. The question is, which one is he? I'm inclining to HMS Petunia, say, or HMS Buttercup, or HMS Honeysuckle which is a pest species and needs to be chopped back from time to time. Curiously, there was never an actual HMS Pansy.

Blogger JartStar September 05, 2013 10:51 AM  

The Guardian article was not kind to the Hugo Award winners.

Anonymous Mike M. September 05, 2013 10:56 AM  

At this rate, I'll have to start writing my own SF.

Part of the problem is that as with all fiction, there are only a few basic plots. And the old titans like Heinlein, Smith, and Asimov got to them first. What's left is working variations on a theme, and trying to not be TOO derivative.

Nevertheless, I keep thinking of the Dune prequels...which were downright sickening. Every tired trope in the business. Have these writers NO shame?

Anonymous RedJack September 05, 2013 11:09 AM  

Mike,
Look at the Belisarius series by David Drake.

They are all rehashes of old plots, but the books are good. Just finished the series over the weekend, and was suprised how much I enjoyed them.

Drake didn't reinvent the wheel, he just did it well. Something to few authors do today.

Blogger Justthisguy September 05, 2013 11:11 AM  

By analogy with Palsy, there ought to be several different kinds of Scalzi:

Bell's Scalzi: Causes mouth to affect a permanent sneer.

Bulbar Scalzi: Affects the cranial nerves; likely to cause inappropriate facial expressions.

Wasting Scalzi: Spinal muscular atrophy; might cause inability to bear up under contrary blog comments.

Erb's Scalzi: Inability to move arm properly; might cause awkward carriage of Hugo.

Conjugate Gaze Scalzi: Can't move eyes correctly, as in "Don't look at me like a faggot, you!"

Cerebral Scalzi: Defects in the higher part of the brain, causing wrong thinking, such as being a feminist, being a leftist, believing that one is a woman, though not one, (See Bradley Manning) or believing that one is a great creative artist, though not one.

Anonymous Daniel September 05, 2013 11:19 AM  

Interesting. Apparently McRapey owes his Hugo a handjob...

Anonymous Loki Sjalfsainn September 05, 2013 11:25 AM  

Interesting. Apparently McRapey owes his Hugo a handjob...

QED.

Anonymous Daniel September 05, 2013 11:26 AM  

His wife will never let him, because lets face it; the one thing we know for sure is that she wears the pants in the scalzi household.

Pics or it didn't...oh.

Sheesh...that lawn must have been the inspiration for Victor/Victoria.

Anonymous allyn71 September 05, 2013 11:30 AM  

"Pics or it didn't...oh."


That has to be a joke right? No way could that pic really be his wife in a suit.

First my son's freshman football season kicks off today along with the NFL and now this! No way today can end up a bad day.

Anonymous Feh September 05, 2013 11:32 AM  

Most of those who read his books don't read his blog. I mean, the math alone dictates that. And since he's writing SF Combat Lite, most of those who read Old Man's War didn't pick up on the fact that he's a poisonous little lefty.

I certainly would have bought more than one of his books (and I only only knew about OMW because they kept talking about it on Volokh) if his blog posts hadn't offended me.

Anonymous Daniel September 05, 2013 11:56 AM  

That has to be a joke right? No way could that pic really be his wife in a suit.

No. I'm not being deceptive. That's straight from her public site.

Anonymous Jack Amok September 05, 2013 12:09 PM  

What man holds a prize trophy like this?:John holding his Hugo

Well, at least he realized he doesn't have the figure any more to wear a dress and went with a pant suit. The tie makes him look a little butch though.

Blogger Bogey September 05, 2013 12:16 PM  

most of those who read Old Man's War didn't pick up on the fact that he's a poisonous little lefty.

I had my suspicions reading Old Man's War, which lead me to checking out his blog.

The homonormative behavior was my first clue, then this little exchange in the novel:

"And which ones of you assholes are Marines?"

Two recruits stepped forward.

"You fuckers are the worst," Ruiz said, getting right in their faces. "You smug bastards have killed more CDF soldiers than any alien species-doing things that Marine fucking way instead of the way they're supposed to be done.

You probably had 'Semper Fi' tattoos somewhere on your body, didn't you? Didn't You?"

"Yes, Master Sergeant!" they both replied.

"You are so fucking lucky they were left behind, because I swear I would have held you down and sliced them off myself.

Anonymous Josh September 05, 2013 12:37 PM  

No. I'm not being deceptive. That's straight from her public site.Reply

That's so freaking awesome.

Any doubts at all she uses a strapon on McRapey?

Anonymous Pinakeli September 05, 2013 12:51 PM  

Justthisguy September 05, 2013 10:49 AM

Nah, not a destroyer. More like a Flower-class corvette: Slow, weak, under-armed, inclined to induce seasickness. The question is, which one is he? I'm inclining to HMS Petunia, say, or HMS Buttercup, or HMS Honeysuckle which is a pest species and needs to be chopped back from time to time. Curiously, there was never an actual HMS Pansy.

HMS = His Majesty's Ship (or Her MS) implying a monarchy. This guy is a collectivist, right? So "Partially My Ship" would be more appropriate, no?

PMS Petunia. Yeah, has a ring to it.

Blogger James Dixon September 05, 2013 12:54 PM  

> Any doubts at all she uses a strapon on McRapey?

None whatsoever.

Blogger Justthisguy September 05, 2013 1:09 PM  

Oh, wait! There was an HMS Lavender!

Anonymous Daniel September 05, 2013 1:12 PM  

That's their daughter, not McRapey's wife, in the photo at the gun range, so... Father wears dresses and high heels, Mother a suit and tie (and occasionally a mustache), and the child is sane enough between the both of them to go armed.

Blogger Justthisguy September 05, 2013 1:14 PM  

Ooh! There was also an HMS Narcissus! I tellya, that Wikipedia corvette list just keeps on giving!

Anonymous VD September 05, 2013 1:14 PM  

That's enough about the family, folks. They may post the pictures for public consumption, but barring any commentary from them, leave them out of it.

Blogger James Dixon September 05, 2013 1:19 PM  

> That's enough about the family, folks.

You're correct. Sorry, Vox.

Blogger Justthisguy September 05, 2013 1:25 PM  

Now I must look over the corvette list again and find some flowers which smell bad; y'know, the ones pollinated by flies. Might have to consult my botanist friend here. Can any of the Dread Ilk help me with this?

Blogger Justthisguy September 05, 2013 1:36 PM  

Oh, there was an HMS Candytuft, too. I'll stop now.

As the man said above, don't pick on his family. That's what _they_ do.

Anonymous Daniel September 05, 2013 1:49 PM  

Mea maxima culpa. My apologies.

Anonymous WaterBoy September 05, 2013 2:16 PM  

TJ: "Like most boomers, Scalzi sees his Hugo as an entitlement."

That's quite an astute observation, there, man. Except for one very important aspect: Scalzi is not a Boomer

So, does this now hold true for GenX, too?

Anonymous WaterBoy September 05, 2013 2:19 PM  

IM2L844: "Gonna turn this ship around, eh? I don't think so, TJ. The world won't even notice. The rot will continue unabated."

Finally, some sanity.

Blogger Revelation Means Hope September 05, 2013 2:59 PM  

Scalzi was born after 1964? Why does he look so old?

Anonymous WaterBoy September 05, 2013 3:16 PM  

I dunno...premature balding?

Anonymous RS September 05, 2013 3:16 PM  

If he knows he's a fraud, there's a part of him that's terrified that everyone else will figure it out.

I don't believe the man is that self-aware. He knows *some* people don't like him- the liberal use of the banhammer on his site demonstrates that. But his rationalization hamster is always in charge and every time someone brings up a valid point he just yells racist! or sexist!, bans them and moves on. He's not interested in being self-aware. He is, however, interested in how he looks in a dress and how big his lawn is.

Count me as one of the disillusioned readers. I read, and liked "Old Man's War" and might have remained a fan if I hadn't stumbled across Whatever. I can't read anything by him now.

Blogger Desdichado September 05, 2013 3:28 PM  

The availablity of a lot of music and a lot of books means we have more options, but what I think will happen isn't that the new and different bands and writers will find larger audiences. I'm afraid that we will continue to gravitate to the familiar and thus the derivative. That is why John Scalzi won a Hugo.

Regardless of his worthiness or not of a Hugo, innovation isn't always all its cracked up to be. In an ideal world, sure, novels that are innovative and good would be more common. But in the real world, I'll take good execution over innovation any day of the week and twice on Sundays. More often, in a quixotic quest for innovation, authors (and other artists) instead lose sight of what makes their work good and it suffers tremendously as a result.

Anonymous Lorem Ipsum September 05, 2013 3:37 PM  

Scalzi writing combat SF is as absurd as Vox writing Twilight fan fic...Although to be fair, Vox would do a comparatively superior job due to his understanding of female nature.

My first introduction to SF was visiting a small, local used book store as a young teenager. The proprietor had a weakness for the genre, and set aside an entire aisle dedicated to the greats, with the usual price being in the 50-75 cents range(easily affordable on a 14 year old's budget)

That was a very enjoyable summer.

Now imagine my disappointment a few months later, upon visiting a chain bookstore and getting the opportunity to view the nature of the dreck that passed as contemporary SF at the time(and it's only gotten worse)

"Some people are different. You know, like sociopaths and psychopaths. They don't feel shame at undeserved rewards. They don't worry that someday someone will figure out that they are a fake."

Not necessarily. I miss the cutoff by a couple of points on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, and I've been bothered as well when receiving an award that I believed I didn't deserve. The difference is between internal and external motivation; an internally motivated person doesn't need or sometimes even particularly want outside recognition, but will accept it if believes it is warranted.

I don't believe Vox quite meets the psychopath cutoff either, but a cursory examination of the Sigma description reveals obvious psychopath traits(due to the nature of the personality type; a normal person couldn't long survive being at odds with the herd) and I would bet he would deliver an above average score on the checklist as well.

Ultimately the only judgement the Sigma respects is his own.

Blogger Justthisguy September 05, 2013 3:44 PM  

I have an idea for getting some use from that nice lawn. See, as far as I know, the Fox .35 is still in production and Sig Balsa still sells some control-line kits. Scalzi could teach that daughter of his how to build airplanes, and fly them! Now, that's an opportunity for some Dad&Daughter bonding!

Also, we get to hear him go Squeee! when that nice sharp nylon propeller kicks back on his glow-fuel-soaked finger on a cold day, because he primed the thing too much.

Anonymous Russell September 05, 2013 3:49 PM  

Here's what I think about the Hugo awards : http://dogwork.com/buhr9

Anonymous The Next to Last Samurai September 05, 2013 3:59 PM  

Oddly enough, I enjoy both Whatever and this site. Carry on!

Anonymous Moranderin September 05, 2013 4:00 PM  

According to Wikipedia, Scalzi was born in 1969. Not 1964. And he's definitely not among the Boomers. In fact, most of the people involved in the whole "throw Vox out of SFWA" thing are Gen X or beyond.

Gould - 1955 (Boomer)
Swirsky - 1982 (Gen Y)
Forest - ? (probably Boomer, though)
Sparhawk - 1937 (pre-Boomer)
Meyers - ? (probably Gen X or Y based on appearance)
Martindale - ? (looks Gen X)
Fiscus - ? (probably Boomer)
Johnson - ? (Gen X or Y)
Roberts - 1978 (Gen X or maybe early Gen Y)

One definite Boomer, two probable Boomers, one from the Depression era, leaving five of the nine as definite or likely Gen X or Y. Throw in Scalzi the Gen Xer and you've got three Boomers and seven non-Boomers.

So why, exactly, do you think Gen X or Y are going run things differently when they're in charge? Consider SFWA an example of Congress-yet-to-be.

Anonymous Daniel September 05, 2013 4:05 PM  

I wish the SFWA was running congress. They'd vote to expel the productive states from the union.

Anonymous FWIW September 05, 2013 4:12 PM  

I was born in 1964, and although that is the tail end of the boom, or so I'm told, I have always identified with GenX and detested the Boomers (who are obnoxious scum 10-20 years older than me as far as I'm concerned).

Anonymous Anonymous September 05, 2013 5:04 PM  

FWIW, in 20 years you're going to look around and be surprised how all those GenXers turned into Boomers.

What I mean is illustrated by that old poster about the 20th anniversary reunion of Woodstock, all the former hippies standing about in suits drinking martinis.

Anonymous VD September 05, 2013 5:37 PM  

I don't believe Vox quite meets the psychopath cutoff either, but a cursory examination of the Sigma description reveals obvious psychopath traits(due to the nature of the personality type; a normal person couldn't long survive being at odds with the herd) and I would bet he would deliver an above average score on the checklist as well.

Actually, I'm nowhere close to psychopathic. Apparently I am narcissistic and Machiavellian, but believe it or not, I test highly empathetic.

Anonymous liljoe September 05, 2013 5:47 PM  

"why Johnny Ringo! You look like someone just...walked all over your grave"

Blogger Phoenician September 05, 2013 5:49 PM  

...and there's the obsessive little man-crush again.

You can't help yourself, can you, Dipshit? Scalzi has pwned your mind.

Blogger Phoenician September 05, 2013 5:57 PM  

Oh, and a teeny tiny little problem with the rant by your boy-pal Ringo about Scalzi not selling...

---- (Wikipedia)
After graduating in 1991, Scalzi took a job as the film critic for the Fresno Bee newspaper, eventually also becoming a humor columnist. In 1996 he was hired as the in-house writer and editor at America Online and moved to Sterling, Virginia, with his wife, Kristine Ann Blauser, whom he had married in 1995. He was laid off in 1998, and since then he has been a full-time freelance writer and author. In 2001 Scalzi, his wife, and their daughter, Athena Marie, who was born in 1998, moved to Bradford, Ohio, to be closer to family.[citation needed]
-----

So he's supported himself and his family as a full-time writer for fifteen years including buying that nice house with a big-ass lawn.

He didn't, for example, get his money and a meaningless wingnut welfare "job" from a tax-dodging felon and loon of a father, did he, Dipshit?

Blogger Midknight September 05, 2013 6:03 PM  

Has to be said...

Oh John Ringo, no!

Anonymous VD September 05, 2013 6:08 PM  

...and there's the obsessive little man-crush again.

Again? Phony, haven't you realized it will never, ever, stop until McRapey apologizes publicly to me and to the readers of this blog.

He didn't, for example, get his money and a meaningless wingnut welfare "job" from a tax-dodging felon and loon of a father, did he, Dipshit?

Neither did I, Phony, you idiot. Seriously, you must be the most ignorant stalker ever. In 1996, my computer game company sold more than 2.2 million copies of Rebel Moon Rising. I owned two homes, including one near the ocean in Florida, that I bought with my own money before I turned 28.

As for WND, it wasn't a job. I never took a penny from them; I was just doing it for fun. And you sort of skipped over the whole St. Paul Pioneer Press, Boston Globe, Atlanta Journal/Constitution, Chronicle Features, and Universal Press Syndicate thing.

Think Daddy set those up too?

Anonymous VD September 05, 2013 6:10 PM  

So he's supported himself and his family as a full-time writer for fifteen years including buying that nice house with a big-ass lawn.

You're also leaving out the fact that his wife works. You don't know who has supported whom.

Anonymous duckman September 05, 2013 6:24 PM  

Speaking of Summer Glau...

Anonymous duckman September 05, 2013 6:39 PM  

...and the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner is...

Anonymous duckman September 05, 2013 6:49 PM  

If the actual number is 4000, and the stated number is 50,000, the exaggeration is 1150 percent. Math would be easier if it weren't for the darn decimal points.

Blogger Falco September 05, 2013 7:57 PM  

including one near the ocean in Florida

For those of you unfamiliar with Florida real estate and who are easily impressed by Theo, the above statement doesn't actually tell you anything

Anonymous WaterBoy September 05, 2013 8:34 PM  

Vox: "I owned two homes, including one near the ocean in Florida, that I bought with my own money before I turned 28."

Vox: "You're also leaving out the fact that his wife works. You don't know who has supported whom."

See, this is why I think the adorable little ankle-biter is a Poe. Everytime he tries to make Scalzi look better and you look worse, he succeeds only in doing the exact opposite -- almost as if it were planned that way. Nobody is that stupid.

Poe-nician the Librarian.

Anonymous WaterBoy September 05, 2013 8:36 PM  

Falco: "the above statement doesn't actually tell you anything"

No more than "5 acres of lawn" does, eh?

Blogger Midknight September 05, 2013 9:32 PM  

So he's supported himself and his family as a full-time writer for fifteen years including buying that nice house with a big-ass lawn.

You're also leaving out the fact that his wife works. You don't know who has supported whom.


This man must not be very familiar with Ringo. Or for that matter Scalzi. Playing up Scalzi as "Supported himself as a full time writer" for fifteen years? Pulling that card, when Ringo is in the mix, will get you soundly crushed.

I'll grant that Scalzi has been writing professionally for over 20 years (a columnist at first), but in terms of sheer prodigiousness of output...

If we're talking about making a living as a science fiction writer, Ringo's "Hymn Before Battle" was published in 2000, a year after Scalzi self-published "Agent to the Stars" online, and about five years before Scalzi landed his first fiction publishing deal at Tor for Old Man's War (posted online a few years before...).

Since then, He's had his name on 38 books, being the sole author on 22, and the major writer on at least four of the remaining 16 - I would argue that the Empire of Man books are mostly Ringo with Weber oversight, most of the Aldenatta spinoffs were primarily the other author, and not sure who did the most on the Travis Taylor books (Von Neumann's War, and all but the first Looking Glass books...)

In short, any argument used to make Scalzi out to be an authority or deserving of respect because of his writing experience and chops applies at least as heavily, and arguably more so, to Ringo.

Gotta love it when argument by credential can be trumped so easily.

Anonymous Nathan September 06, 2013 12:22 AM  

And Scalzi just called out Ringo on Twitter...

I think he's going to find this one tougher going. I mean, he can't threaten to leave the SFWA to get a non-member expelled.

Seriously though, I'm about at the point of SFWA fatigue. While it's quite charming to watch them fiddle while the industry burns, it's gone beyond farce. Can't we just marginalize these rabid weasels from society and go back to reading and writing decent SF/F?

Phoney, I don't get you. You have a problem with Ringo's reasoning and you try to use it to discredit VD? If it bothered you that bad, take it up with Ringo.

Anonymous Ferd September 06, 2013 12:48 AM  

" And Scalzi just called out Ringo on Twitter..."

And he is no Doc Holiday! He isn't anyone's huckleberry!

Blogger Bogey September 06, 2013 1:28 AM  

So being the poster child for your commercial people is a good thing.
Pissing off the people who in the end have to actually buy the books to read.... Not so much.


Kind of says it all. In his acceptance speech he still didn't mention the people who actually bought his books.

And he never mentioned his readers in the Self-Made Man post. Is he not aware that people actually plunk down some hard earned cash to give him his big ole' lawn? Or maybe it really is about making sure the bookstores are well stocked with your books, buyers be damned, they'll get what's offered to them.

Blogger Bogey September 06, 2013 1:28 AM  

Damn it, link. http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/07/23/a-self-made-man-looks-at-how-he-made-it/

Anonymous VD September 06, 2013 4:25 AM  

For those of you unfamiliar with Florida real estate and who are easily impressed by Theo, the above statement doesn't actually tell you anything

(laughs). Let's just say it was very nice Florida real estate. The condo was considerably more valuable than a house and lawn in Minnesota, or Ohio, for that matter. If we hadn't left the States, I never would have sold it.

Anonymous VD September 06, 2013 4:40 AM  

And Scalzi just called out Ringo on Twitter...

Crying that someone is being mean isn't quite calling out. I love how he always pretends to take the high road if he thinks the other person is sufficiently influential.

He'll be done "pretending to be nice", as he says, soon enough. Obvious bacon-taped cat is obvious.

Anonymous agathis September 06, 2013 11:57 AM  

Way back when, I had a blog and posted about Scalzi. He had made some ridiculous argument about those that were all "het up" about homosexuality--that they were, probably, homosexuals themselves. I asked a rhetorical question--"Is Scalzi a bigot?" I answered no, then, because I didn't know him well. Anyway--he came by the blog and argued with me. Now, at the time, I had quite a bit of respect for him. I liked Old Man's War, as a fan of Heinlein, and though it didn't reach that level of quality, it was entertaining.

What resulted was a long conversation where he insulted me over and over again, never read a single post I'd made, argued against strawmen, and showed a disturbing ignorance of what people actually believe. And yes, I do believe he threw around his education credentials. (I didn't bother telling him that I have an MA in a philosophical field as well, because it wouldn't have mattered to him).

He tried to argue that it wasn't insulting to call people gay because he didn't think there was anything wrong with being gay. So I say, what if I went around saying that all Jews were greedy money-grubbers. He got really offended by that and started insulting me again. I said, hey, I don't think there's anything wrong with being a greedy money-grubber. I'm a capitalist. I think that's when he gave up and went away.

But after that exchange, I never bought another of his books. I've read a few, but I'm not giving this guy money. He's an idiot.

He's got an ego that's a few times too large for his actual talent. Like those A students who get to college and realize they aren't actually as good as everyone says, or those singers who go on American Idol and make fools of themselves all the while thinking they're great. It's a sad, sad, thing. But after my exchange with him, nothing that's happened in SFWA since he became president as been any surprise to me.

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