Sad Puppies

A regressive bunch of almost entirely guys has hijacked the Hugo nominations so that their slate is most likely to win.

Info here, here and here (one of the puppies, just to be fair).


My response on facebook:


They can game the system for a couple of years, and then they’ll be back to crying. The test of their horsemalarkey will come from sales. If the almighty free hand of the market makes it rain for their publishers because the Sad Puppies widdled on the Hugos, then they get to gloat. If, as I predict, all this posturing means nothing to the bean counters, their victory will be virtual and ephemeral. In the meantime, it’s never been easier to find whatever kinds of fiction you enjoy, and even to find ways to avoid bad cover art, which seems to be a problem with the Pupsters.

I intend to write contemporary SF that messes with intent with every one of the Sacred Tropes of the Golden Age of Privileged SF, torches the evidence and makes sidewalk chalk with the ashes.

And my last word.


Ça fond dur, cette poème-la

Ah, but it’s like cat’s piss

this regret, weighing worse in the air

in some rooms than others


you are missed with a ferocity

that yet may crumple me

and then, no fucking meme of bitten lip passed over

move from memory to a place

where I can at least look at you

in my mind, where else

and recognize that I must thank you


rarely do I remember how


this is no sea of troubles


I ride life in a barque

partly of your design

these seas I lately conjure are

a hypothetical

My beloved heartsblood ideas

are ripe for satire and me

well I’m ready to be rendered

into literary cracklin’ baby


I have been watching the culture war

and I have sent my

smelliest rubber boots a wandering

here and there upon it

Rustled my jimmies and parsed

my arse to the stenosing bones

while dealing with blues &

unemployment, learning to breathe

with a cpap machine and fuck it

I did it anyway.  That was the point.

The work often takes longer than we’d like.







I find this haunting. Someone has tried to reconstruct Babylonian song.

Yesterday I saw Sue in Little Women the Musical.  Unfortunately the book was not as good as the actors and musicians.  Fortunately I was able to argue my points with the actors afterwards without being dishonest or unkind, and it widened into a broader discussion of the challenges and rewards of musical theatre.  Ten years ago I would have said, Oh it was great, it was great.  Now I have the brains to respect people enough to be honest and the social intelligence to be honest without being a cad.

It was in Granville Island.  I had half an hour to Christmas shop.  I got an Alexosaurus (stuffed T Rex) and a kazoo.  Strangely, that is what I wanted.  I have rarely had a briefer and more pleasant Christmas shop.  The weather was crisply glorious and I likely won’t get to Granville Island again until Tammy comes.

Jeff and I walked to IHOP and back for breakfast.  It was very pleasant.

I think Riddle Number II is a cloud.  What do you think?

Work on the trilogy continues. Kima is pregnant – with more than 100 zygotes  by three fathers of two different morphs. This presents any number of social, emotional, physiological and ‘race’ issues.

I had a pleasant recent conversation with Dave JD.  He has joined the ranks of the unemployed.  I tried to get Facetime to reduce the expense of talking to him and repeated and lengthy attempts to purchase it were fruitless.  I really loathe anything to do with Apple customer service.  When I want an Android app or book I press a button, and free or not, it appears on my phone in about five minutes.  (I’m still on the first chapter of the Piketty book -if anyone wants to mock me… go ahead).

I can’t really deal with heeled shoes any more so I took two pairs of Fluevogs into church yesterday (the bus DIDN’T COME at 10:03, or even five minutes earlier according to the guy I ran into so I was 25 minutes late for church, screw you translink).  Anyway the teenaged co-congregant who had admired my steampunky shoes got about 300 dollars worth of footgear in a little bag, and if I did nothing else yesterday I made her very happy.  Her socks MATCHED the second pair of shoes, in a most gratifying way.

How do you detect an extrasolar planet? With objects found in hardware stores and Nikon lenses and software and a little something something to remove blur.

Yesterday morning I awoke to a dream in which Hitler’s mustache was crawling up my door frame.  I woke up for real and spent a disoriented couple of seconds looking for it.  Very odd, and not a little disturbing.

Breakfast of writing champions! Peanut butter cookies warm from the oven and fair trade coffee with real cream.  Ha!

We think Autumn may be knocked up.  It’s always something.

In response to Pat Broderick’s whine about cosplayers

Hierarchical BS in fandom is going to happen. I’m troubled when our media preferences become more important to our tribal affiliation than the enduring sense of wonder that lifted us all up into fandom in the first place. Jealousy and envy are a part of life. Throw sexism, sizeism, publishing credits and perfect pitch into a small and vocal fandom and voila, ongoing eruptions.
Entitled people are likely to be cognitively biased enough to keep enunciating why their preferences ought to be the rules. (And whinge when they get called on it.) Those of us who do *not* find our preferences prescriptive for the entire universe of fandom…are “just happy to go to cons, meet new people, learn new songs and stay out of politics.”
Unless you’re a tribble, you shouldn’t hiss at Klingons. Or to rephrase, unless you have a physical problem with someone else’s embodiment of fandom (eg., using peanut butter as part of your costume when so many fans are allergic is unacceptable) the correct response falls along a continuum. Privately giggle with your friends, whine to your BFF or SO, or work through the irritation or anger in some constructive fashion. And now I pass the talking stick to someone else.

It wasn’t much

I packed two boxes, unpacked one, helped get cloth underneath the bookshelves, hung an ornament, talked to Paul and drank a beer.  I was more productive yesterday.  Keith seems to be dodging a fair amount of it, as I likely would have done at his age if I hadn’t been forced into different circumstances.


There’s a tempest going on in SF.  A woman writer of color turns out to be … well I’m white so I don’t get to comment too much about that.  Not nice.  Anyway she’s been outed as a troll of the first order.  This was my comment in reaction to an article on the subject linked to on facebook.  I’m only copying it over because there’s a piece of invective in there that I quite like.  Benjanun Sriduangkaew is the writer’s name.


Is this the death of consequence free trolling? No, this is her set up for the biggest assault yet. In the end, I cheerfully predict that she will say, “As long as I was in the persona of a pleasant newbie, and you could pat yourself on the back for liking a woman fantasist of color, everything was fine. The second I turn out to be an opinionated and scathing woman who takes no prisoners, you hate me. THUS DO I PROVE THE VIOLENCE INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM!” TADA and dismount.

My intersectionality includes trans*folk, so she can decorticate herself with a grapefruit spoon for all of me.

I still haven’t spoken to somebody I know in SF fandom who’s ever clapped eyes on her (although I’m not assuming at this point that she doesn’t really exist or is some kind of weird long term thought experiment, as I did up until today).

People can be crazy jerks; the loathing of others can percolate through our own skins and behaviours in ways no human can count. Benjanun has a lot of feels inside; maybe she can get help for how those feelings make a scary, repellent mess for the community she is wishing to re-cut in her own image. She is living and will continue to live with the consequences of her actions.

Until she unreservedly apologizes for her ghastly verbal assaults on trans*folk I won’t read a word she says or put a dime in her pocket.


We’re off to Crappy Tire to buy an awning – the awning we bought to shelter Headwater for the birthday gig they did for Jeff has gone the way of all awnings. I may retain a friend to make another cover as there’s nothing wrong with the frame on the old one.


I’m into the list of Human Universals.  The Sixers share many of the human universals but where they are different from us it’s like the bottom dropped out.  They aren’t materialists because they don’t need anything and can’t be made to need anything they can’t get from their environment, unless their thinking is disordered by religious fanaticism. They don’t experience the incest taboo, or groups larger than about 5 people living in one place, although they gather in groups to mate because it’s convenient.  They don’t care about sharing food. There are no tabooed utterances or hierarchies; males and females travel the same amount over their lifespans and are equally likely to take leadership roles on the rare occasions enough Sixers agree that a leader is required – mostly it’s when Bossypants decides to take action and then grinds conspecifics  into agreeing.  They don’t have proper names, they don’t have polysemetic words (at least in the social linkage language) and part of George’s sophistication is that he recognizes puns.  I’m having a gas with the list because it’s allowing me to see just how different the Sixers are from us, and how similar.

My facebook buddy Sean Haugh is a libertarian running for office.  Fox News just found out about him. They hate him because OH NOES He’s a WORKING CLASS LIBERTARIAN.  I didn’t think I could hate Fux Newsishness more.

He’s principled, funny, an SF fan, and a feminist libertarian (for realsies).  And he drinks beer.  If I lived in his district I’d work for his campaign.  If I was a US citizen I’d donate to his campaign.  I will be sending him funds earmarked for beer for his campaign workers after the results are in.

I feel somewhat less burdened by physical ickiness today.  What I want more than anything is a really long road trip.

Back to the shop

I am heading back to the cafe with Katie this morning.

Real Humans, the SVT show from 2012, is the best sf show I’ve seen since BSG came out.  It is filled with beautiful and nuanced performances, amazing photography, whip smart writing EVEN IN TRANSLATION, deft and surprising plotting, great background music, hat tips to all our favourite science fiction movies, a portrayal of family life which through its economy and plotting is realistic and emotionally sound – without making the father look like a moron or a wimp or a drunk or an emotionally abusive jackass or the mother like superwoman or hysterical, or the kids like little cookie cutters, brilliant set pieces which totally rock the ensemble acting, and it asks, all the time and at many levels – what does it mean to be human?  Where do we get our ‘programming’ from?  Is the most important thing about us that we can be kind?

Oh, and naked girl robots, but you knew that without asking.  It is filled with little Swedish touches regarding being open minded about sexuality which play out in a variety of interesting and sometimes cringe inducing and sometimes laugh out loud hilarious ways.

It’s a very UNITARIAN show, in terms of its concerns and writing.  Very, very satisfying.

HG Wells

I am very cross with all of you.  Why did no one tell me that HG Wells is FUNNY?

From the very first page of “The War in the Air”, comes this gem.

He lived in a world of obstinate and incessant change, and in parts where its operations were unsparingly conspicuous.

From the third page, after a likely young lad has purchased his first motorbike:

The hire-purchase system bridged a financial gap, and one bright and memorable Sunday morning he wheeled his new possession through the shop and onto the road, got on to it with the advice and assistance of Grubb, and teuf-teuffed off into the haze of the traffic tortured high road, to add himself as one more voluntary public danger to the amenities of the South of England.

I can hear John reading that aloud and guffawing with laughter.




The new Kside word is for the weird almost English raving that shows up in youtube comments.  Also known as trollspeak.

Sue’s dad died.  He was over 100 years old, and she was planning on visiting him this week.  Now her mum and dad are dead, her mum passed last year.  She’s not the only person I know who is over seventy and lost a parent.  mOm I am glad you made that scarf for her.

I09 talks about epistolary novels today.  In SF format.

I am actually working on an epistolary sf novel.  In my family there is a cousins’ letter that rotates between numerous people over the course of about three years. The cousin will write whatever he or she wants to and then send it along.  Once it gets back to the origination point it is collected by mOm and the next iteration fires up.
The novel follows the cousins as they a) attempt social work with a trispecies gang in an orbital (blocked out) b) sell tickets to the only real tourist attraction (but it’s a doozy) on a fleabag planet (in process) c) found a Unitarian church on a wholly-owned planet and accidentally become the lightning rod for a debate on interspecies marriage (this letter is written) d) join the Forces to see the galaxy, kill monsters and blow shit up real good (this is in process) e) have boring lives on Earth (anything but, climate change and volcanoes)  f) get old and have themselves uploaded so they can continue to work on family history projects they didn’t want to die in the middle of, thus becoming the de facto all purpose family elder.