In answer to a question at File 770:

I suspect the Rabids aren’t fans of SF so much as they are “members of the cult of Vox Day.” Partly, this is the only thing that truly seems to explain the works on the slate — the ones that aren’t published by Beale’s own press anyway — the point isn’t that they are any particular thing, the point is that he chose them, and there they are.

I don’t know what that implies for the future. Beale himself obviously believes in nursing a grudge to the end of time, so HE’S not going anywhere. But how many minions does he actually have? What’s their staying power? Are they really going to stay interested enough to do this again next year?

There are exactly 367 Vile Faceless Minions, as it happens, in addition to an unknown quantity of Rabid Puppies, Dread Ilk, and Ilk.

As to what their staying power is, and if they are really going to stay interested enough to do this again next year, I have ordered Malwyn and her colleagues to unmuzzle them and thereby permit them to speak for themselves, if they so wish.

I am kind.

The wages of apostasy

Shed no tears for the Anglicans. They departed from the Word of God and they are reaping the inevitable harvest of irrelevance:

The Church of England has suffered a dramatic slump in its followers, shocking new figures show. Between 2012 and 2014, the proportion of Britons identifying themselves as C of E or Anglican dropped from 21 per cent to 17 per cent – a fall of about 1.7 million people.

Over the same period, the number of Muslims in Britain grew by nearly one million, according to a survey by the respected NatCen Social Research Institute.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey warned last night that unless urgent action was taken, the Church was just ‘one generation away from extinction’.

The number of Anglicans in Britain has dropped from about 10.3 million to 8.6 million, and will raise fresh fears over the future of the Church of England, which has been in decline since the 1960s. Lord Carey, who has warned before about dwindling congregations, said: ‘These figures are a call to urgent mission. I have no doubt at all that the Archbishops, together with the whole leadership of the Church of England, are doing all they can to reverse this trend.’

The current Archbishop, Justin Welby, has also called for the decline to be tackled and is introducing measures to streamline the Church and strengthen its leadership.

I have a simple seven-point plan that will absolutely reverse the trend and revive the Church of England:

  1. Publicly repent accommodation with the world.
  2. Announce the Counter-Accommodation, a house-cleaning movement that throws out every reform and innovation since 1950 and openly rejects the false idea that tolerance and inclusion are Christian virtues or that unrepentant sinners are welcome as members of the Church body.
  3. Excommunicate every bishop and former bishop who voted for the ordination of women.
  4. Excommunicate every bishop and former bishop who voted for the ordination of homosexuals or officiated over a same-sex ceremony.
  5. Defrock every female and homosexual bishop or priest.
  6. Suspend every bishop or priest who publicly endorses social justice, tolerance, inclusivity, or ecumenicism.
  7. Preach the Word of God precisely as it is communicated through the King James Bible.

If the Church of England will not do this, it has no reason to exist and fully merits its extinction. Observe that the long term results have been exactly what the conservatives who opposed these reforms have been predicting all along. When a Christian church rejects the Word of God and hares after worldly approval, it is not long for this world.

And the UK’s atheists probably won’t be too pleased with the Church of England’s demise. I tend to doubt they will find their new Muslim neighbors quite as easy to push around as lukewarm Anglicans.

Sad Puppies can’t be wrong

Not when the very worst writer in science fiction and fantasy opposes us:

Mercedes Lackey says:   
May 15, 2015 at 9:00 PM   

I’ve said it before in your blog and I’ll say it again. The Puppies of both orders picked the perfect name for themselves. Puppies piss and shit all over everything, they never stop whining and yapping, they destroy everything they get their teeth into and plenty of them are too damn dumb not to shit and piss in their own bed. And then lie in it.

And then they are shocked–SHOCKED!–when someone comes along, rubs their noses in it, and smacks them. And they’ll be even more shocked when someone lock them in their crate, or sends them to the pound.

See, one thing Larry (my husband Larry Dixon) and I have learned is that editors don’t appreciate trouble. Trouble doesn’t sell books. In the long run, trouble loses sales, in a business already precarious.

I’m going to predict that someone is going to be crated over this. If they are less lucky…someone’s going to be sent to the pound.

No wonder her hastily scribbled–5.5 per year on average according to Wikipedia–are so appallingly dreadful. The woman makes the logic-challenged Eric Flint look like a genius in comparison. I’d rather read John Scalzi’s entire oeuvre twice than another Mercedes Lackey book. She’s the anti-Tanith Lee; her works were among the first Pink SF works I noticed corrupting the genre. A year ago, I would have called her an Marion Zimmer Bradley-imitator who can’t write, except that would be a bit harsh given the recent revelations of her predecessor’s problematic pasttimes. And if I was as determined to unilaterally destroy the Hugos as the SJWs claim, RP’s Best Novel category would have been as follows:

  • Closer to Home: Book One of Herald Spy by Mercedes Lackey
  • Bastion: Book Five of the Collegium Chronicles by Mercedes Lackey
  • Children of the Night (Diana Tregarde Investigation #2) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Steadfast (Elemental Masters #8) by Mercedes Lackey
  • Blood Red (Elemental Masters #9) by Mercedes Lackey

As to how shocked–SHOCKED!–we are by the behavior of the SJWs in science fiction, I will simply quote Martin van Creveld in The Changing Face of War.

“As Schlieffen himself had once written, for a great victory (what he called a “Cannae” to take place, it was necessary for the commanders on both sides to cooperate, each in his own way.”

Let’s just say their behavior shocked me about as much as the discovery that the sun rose again this morning. There are precisely four things that have surprised me about the SJW response to date:

  1. John Scalzi more or less keeping his mouth shut. Now we know why.
  2. Charles Stross attempting to doxx Castalia and his insane Finnish Nazi theories. I genuinely thought he was smarter than that.
  3. The public approval of Mary Kowal openly buying supporting memberships for other people. It’s so hard to imagine anyone else making effective use of that tactic in the future.
  4. Popular Science being one of the publications in which they planted their hit stories. I knew from past experience they would plant hit pieces in the media. But that would not have been among the first 250 publications I would have guessed.

On the other hand, it is entirely unsurprising to see that Lackey is stupid enough to not realize that her prediction about Puppy-supporting authors suffering at the hands of their editors is additional testimony in support of our original contentions. And it’s not the only testimony in this regard either. I rather enjoyed Brian Z’s Stalinistic ritual denunciation under pressure:

“In case this might be misunderstood as an endorsement of that site
moderator’s views or tactics, I denounce everything Vox Populi stands

Do you, SJW, renounce the Supreme Dark Lord and all his works? And then there was Influxus’s admission of what many SJWs are thinking, but most are sensible enough to deny in public:

Of course VD loves it because it perpetuates his narrative that the Sads
are scape-goated by the SJWs of Fandom, when really the only person
that most people want to get rid of is him.

Nearly everything the SJWs do tends to support that narrative. And while I may top the list, based on their behavior towards Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen and John C. Wright and Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg and John Norman, I very much doubt I am the only troublesome individual of whom they wish to be rid. As for the pound, it is obvious that the SJWs of Fandom simply do not understand the relevant dynamic here….

UPDATE: Speaking of the Puppy narrative, further support for it from SJWs.

“I suspect that some of these sad and rabid folk will soon have to start writing under new pen names if they expect their work to survive the editorial sniff-test with most of today’s publishers.”

This, of course, is the same thing Charles Stross was telling me 10 years ago. Submit to the SJW gatekeepers or be cast out. As for me and my House, we choose out.

Eric Flint, SJW

I hadn’t bothered reading whatever Flint had been going on about, because knowing that he was still a socialist was sufficient for me, the student of several noted Marxian economists (since recanted), to know that the man is neither very intelligent nor very educated.

But I finally got around to reading the article and was mildly surprised to learn that it was even dumber than I assumed it would be.

I am a social justice warrior. Not an “SJW,” not a figment of the fevered imaginations of right-wingers, but the real deal. 

Wow, the real deal! And what do SJWs always do? That’s right. All together now! SJWS ALWAYS LIE. Case in point: Eric Flint.

Then there’s Theodore Beale, aka “Vox Day.” Now we come to a far more suitable candidate, Great-Dictator-Reborn-wise. He shares Hitler’s general attitudes on race, certainly, although I don’t know where he stands on the subject of Jews. And he’s even to the right of Hitler on the subject of women. Far to the right, in fact. Hitler thought women should stick to their proper roles in child-rearing, managing households and church activity—“Kinder, Kūche, Kirche”—but he wasn’t actually opposed to women learning how to read and write and he didn’t support honor killings.

But there are two great differences between Beale and Hitler that make it impossible for Beale to play that role either.

To start with, whatever his other depravities, Hitler wasn’t a petty chiseler. Whereas Beale is nothing but a petty chiseler. He chisels when it comes to his opinions, always trying to play peekaboo and slime around defending what he obviously believes. And he’s trying to win Hugo awards by petty chiseling.

But it’s his other characteristic that really disqualifies him for the role of Great Villain in this morality play.

In a nutshell—and completely unlike Adolf Hitler—Theodore Beale is a fucking clown with delusions of grandeur. This is a man—say better, pipsqueak—who rails to the heavens about the decline—nay, the imminent doom!—of western civilization due to the savageries of sub-human races and (most of all) the pernicious—nay, Satan-inspired!—willfulness of uppity women, and likes to portray himself as the reincarnation of the feared Crusaders of yore, all the way down to wielding a flaming sword.

And… the best thing he can figure out to do with his time, money and energy is to hijack a few Hugo awards. That’ll show the sub-human-loving treacherous bitches!

The world trembles and shakes, just like it does in the imagination of a mouse whenever that mouse imagines itself to be an elephant. Except no mouse who ever lived was this stupid.

You know, we’ve wondered who was going to be the new Hitler ever since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proved to be such a washout in that regard. My money was on Putin, so I had absolutely no idea it would turn out to be me. Someone get Hugo Boss on the line, we’re going to need some snappy new outfits for the VFM, stat!

Let’s address the issues as Mr. Flint, real deal SJW, puts them forth.

  1. I don’t share Hitler’s views on race, as I have a basic grasp of human genetics and I am neither a eugenicist nor an Aryan supremacist.
  2. On the subject of Jews, I am a Zionist who edits and publishes the eminent Israeli military historian Dr. Martin van Creveld.
  3. I’m not opposed to women learning to read and write. I am opposed to women being encouraged to obtain advanced degrees in the place of husbands and children. Unlike Mr. Flint, I can do the demographic math.
  4. I don’t support honor killings. I never have.
  5. I don’t hide what I really believe. Mr. Flint claims to know what I really believe without me ever putting it into words because, and I quote, “peekaboo”. If anyone is “a fucking clown” here, it is observably Mr. Flint.
  6. I’m not trying to win Hugo Awards. I don’t care about winning awards.
  7. I have no delusions of grandeur. I’m not the one who keeps running to The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, The New Zealand Herald, NPR, Popular Science, or the Wall Street Journal to talk about me. I haven’t issued a single press release or called a single member of the media about the Hugo Awards or anything else, for that matter.
  8. Western civilization is in peril. In large part thanks to idiots like Mr. Flint.
  9. I don’t like to portray myself with a flaming sword. That was the brainchild of the Star Tribune photographer who was taking pictures of me for a story the paper was doing. Apparently he was onto something, as it’s an image many people have remembered.
  10. Hijacking the Hugo Awards is not the best thing I can figure out to do with my time, money and energy. First, the Hugos weren’t hijacked. We claimed the nominations fair and square, and entirely in accordance with the rules. Second, it took very little time, money, or energy as it required nothing more than a single blog post and 367 Vile Faceless Minions who despise SJWs like Eric Flint, John Scalzi, Jim Hines, and George Rape Rape Martin more than Eric Flint hates capitalist running dogs.

Anyhow, it’s always good to see one’s initial instincts confirmed. Now I can go back to completely ignoring the moronic intellectual dinosaur. Seriously, how stupid do you have to be to still subscribe to the Labor Theory of Value? I would have thought that robotics would have been sufficient to lay that to rest for anyone capable of turning on a computer.

It’s kind of funny that these people take umbrage at the idea that I am considerably more intelligent than they are. Do they even read what they write? Hitler! Honor! Hate! Hijack! Hugo! It’s as if they’ve got conceptual Tourette’s Syndrome. My favorite was Flint’s claim to a) know I share Hitler’s ideas on race but b) not know my views about Jews. We’re clearly dealing with a real master of logic here.

The Ones Who Walk Away from Fandom

by Brian Z on File 770

Justice! How is one to tell about justice? How describe the citizens of Fandom?

Some do not write vintage pulp, you see, though there is message. But we do not hear the words story first much any more. Prose has become obtuse. Given a description such as this some might make certain assumptions. Given a description such as this some might look next for a King, mounted on a splendid stallion and surrounded by his noble knights, or a snowy tavern with no spaceships. But there was no king. They did not use gendered pronouns, or foreshadow. They were not Stephen Donaldson. I do not know the rules and laws of their writing, but I suspect that they were singularly few. As they had strange plot and character, so they also got on without immersion, pacing, rhythm, and emotional payoff. Yet I repeat that these were not pulpy folk, not Charles Gannons, John Ringos, Eric Flints. They were no less fen than us. The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and instapundits, of considering message as something rather boring.

Do you believe? Do you accept the linkfests, the ceremony, the awards? No? Then let me describe one more thing.

In a basement under one of the public forums, or perhaps in the cellar of a blog, there is a bar. It has one door. A few sympathetic reviews seep in dustily between cracks in the boards. In one corner is a pile of schlock paperbacks with banal, cloying, smutty covers, sold through a rusty e-bookstore. A mere broom closet. In the bar a Sad is sitting. It could be a boy or a girl. The door is unlocked, but nobody will come.

They all know it is there, the citizens of Fandom. Some have read, others merely tweet about it. They all understand that the reputation of their genre, the wisdom of their bloggers, the trajectory of their authors, the complacence of their nominators, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend on the pup’s opuscular misery.

There might not even be a kind word spoken to the pup.

At times one of the younger fen who go to see the pup does not go home to weep or rage, does not, in fact, go home at all. Sometimes also an older fan falls silent for a day or two, and then leaves home. Each one goes alone. They walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the place with the Hugos. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Fandom.

It’s more than a little amusing. And those who walk away are the wise ones, because, as it has been sung:

Never kick a dog
Because it’s just a pup
You’d better run for cover when the pup grows up!

Publishing: the negative-sum game

It is both amusing and a little tragic to see the brave face that the File 770 wannabes put on when contemplating the state of the traditional publishing world. They keep insisting that it is not a zero-sum game, which is true in a sense, because it is actually a negative-sum game.

The most difficult problems are negative-sum situations, where the pie is shrinking. In the end, the gains and losses will all add up to less than zero. This means that the only way for a party to maintain its position is to take something from another party, and even if everyone takes his or her share of the “losses,” everyone still loses in comparison to what they currently have or really need. This type of situation often sparks serious competition.

However, negative-sum disputes are not always lose-lose because if the parties know the pie is shrinking, it is possible their expectations will be low. A perfect example of a negative-sum dispute is the allocation of budget cuts within an organization. In this case, each department expects to have some funds taken away, but whether the outcome is a win or loss depends on how much money a particular branch gets in comparison to what they expected to have cut from their budget. So, if a branch was expecting to get a 30 percent cut and they only got cut 20 percent, which would be a win, even in a diminishing resource situation.

The present negative-sum situation was probably inevitable, not only due to the primary factor of men’s increasing preference for electronic forms of entertainment, but there is also the secondary factor of changing ethnic demographics. In the USA, for example, Hispanics don’t read as much as Anglos and they don’t buy as many books.

Among all American adults, the average (mean) number of books read or
listened to in the past year is 12 and the median (midpoint) number is 5. The White average is 13 and the median is 5, the Black average is 12 and the median is 4, the Hispanic average is 7 and the median is 3.

Throw in the number of non-English speakers into the mix and it should not be a surprise that prospects for the traditional publishing world were not good despite a growing population even before the SJW invasion of genre publishing is taken into account. But that doesn’t mean that the advocates of Pink SF haven’t made the situation worse, as the corporate masters are apparently beginning to understand. “Tor’s editorial director Julie Crisp has left Pan Macmillan following a
review of the company’s science fiction and fantasy publishing.”

Does that mean that Castalia has stupidly entered a declining market in the hopes of carving off a slice of a shrinking pie? Not at all. Because we have no intention whatsoever of becoming a traditional publisher, our cost structure will keep us competitive despite the higher royalties and lower prices we offer, and we know there is still a significant market for the Campbellian science fiction created by beardy, middle-aged white men in which the traditional SF publishers are aggressively disinterested.

Moreover, as the Brainstorm crowd knows, we are developing the technology to massively expand that market by reaching the young men who have, quite reasonably, abandoned the traditional SF market. I started reading Neal Stephenson’s latest novel, Seveneves, and it is truly depressing. Less because nearly everyone on Earth dies than because he appears to have gone full SJW with a Gamma sauce. It’s the first time I’ve found it necessary to force myself to keep reading one of his books, and the first time one of his books has struck me as being proper Pink SF. Female presidents, token ethnic melanges, you name it, he’s got it to such an extent that were it not for Stephenson’s past gamma markers, I would almost suspect an epic, master-class trolling of the current genre.

On a tangential note, as Aristotle has informed us, some people are simply incapable of learning.

Julie Crisp ‏@julieacrisp May 20
So I’ve had a lot of submissions in recently. And do you know how excited I am to see how many of those are SF novels written by women?!!

Julie Crisp ‏@julieacrisp May 20
The answer is VERY!! 🙂

Her doubling-down on her enthusiasm for female SF authors is intriguing in light of this news report from 2011:

But with the hiring of Bella Pagan away from Orbit, Tor UK does hope to grow — and diversify — its line. Crisp explains:

With Bella joining us, we’re looking to grow our list in size, direction and selection. While, as of yet – everything is still under wraps concerning the new innovations we’ll be putting in place (watch this space!) I can tell you that Bella has a particular interest in urban fantasy and paranormal romances – an area that Tor UK hasn’t explored to its potential previously. So that’s one area we’ll be looking to expand into.

It doesn’t look like that strategy worked out all that well, does it. I’ve even seen some rumors floating around that Pan Macmillan is in the process of shutting down Tor UK altogether. Meanwhile, Tor.com is abandoning the novel in favor of the novella:

When the book wars sweep across the galaxy, and the blood of publishers runs down the gutters of every interstellar metropolis, the resource we fight for will not be paper, or ink, or even money. It will be time. For our readers, time is the precious commodity they invest in every book they decide to purchase and read. But time is being ground down into smaller and smaller units, long nights of reflection replaced with fragmentary bursts of free time. It’s just harder to make time for that thousand-page novel than it used to be, and there are more and more thousand-page novels to suffer from that temporal fragmentation.

Enter the novella, an old form with a new lease on life. We expect that the reader who has to fit their reading into their daily commute will appreciate a novella they can finish in a week, rather than a year. We’ll be releasing books that can be begun and completed on just one of those rare evenings of uninterrupted reading pleasure.

Apparently they believe Pink SF is more digestible in smaller doses.

One tit is never enough

JCCarlton explains why Eric Flint owes Brad Torgersen an apology:

The best thing the CHORFs could have done is lived by the principles they say that they said the Hugos represented.  They cold have welcomed the puppies as new blood.  At the very least they could have remained silent and accepted the fact that things are going to change.  Instead they created a huge media smear campaign against, among other people, Brad.  Frankly, accusing BRAD of being anything other than the nicest guy you will ever meet is just weird and I don’t think I’ve ever met Brad personally.  But when you play by Alinsky rules, facts aren’t relevant, the narrative is.

Along with that they are trying to “fix” the Hugos to make sure that only the “proper Worldcon membership,” the TRUFAN is allowed to pick who SF awards the Hugos to.  They are trying as hard as they can to make the Hugos the comfortable racket they like so much.  I don’t think that they realize just how much the nastiness they’ve been spreading around is losing them friends

Of course it doesn’t help that the CHORFs have been diligently creating their own monster.  I suspect that they thought that Vox would just fall apart and blow away like dust when they went all Alinsky on him at SFWA.  The problem is that Alinsky tactics only work when the other side accept you definition of them.  And Vox didn’t believe what the CHORFs were saying he was and frankly was able to turn their constant distortions and half truths against them.  Making false assertions doesn’t work as well on the internet where almost nothing is permanently forgotten and everything can documented.  It’s hard to make false assertions when the truth is a Google search away.

What the CHORFs don’t seem to be able to understand is that once you put up something in a blog, you might as well be broadcasting your actions to the other side.  And while most of us don’t care what’s on the CHORFs’ blogs on or another of us will probably see it and pass it around.  And Vox is not above pointing out the other side’s strategies and saying to his readership, tit for tat.

Up until the last few years I don’t think that many of us fans really cared about the Hugos very much.  The one time I’ve been able to attend a Worldcon I don’t think I even voted.  I’m absolutely sure that I didn’t participate in the nomination process the next year.  One thing the response the CHORFs have made many of realize for the first time is just how rotten the Hugo Awards have gotten.  I think that up until the CHORFs  declared total war on the puppies none of us on the other side really understood how far those people were willing to go for little plastic rocketships.

I have to admit that I don’t give a damn what Eric Flint thinks. He need not apologize to me, regardless of what he may have said. I know that some of his fellow Baen writers think well of him, but I’ve never read anything he’s written and I don’t know anything about the man except for the fact that he’s published by Baen and he’s said to be an unreconstructed socialist.

So, I don’t know if JCC is correct or not. But he’s certainly correct to claim that I am not above recommending tit for tat. Indeed, I am considerably below that, being a devotee of the tactical philosophy that requires three or more tits for every tat.

Scientistry is not scientody

And as for those who claim that I am anti-science because I am anti-corrupt scientistry, I’ve got two appeals to scientific authority that will trump yours right here:

In the past few years more professionals have come forward to share a truth that, for many people, proves difficult to swallow. One such authority is Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world.

Dr. Horton recently published a statement declaring that a lot of published research is in fact unreliable at best, if not completely false.

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

This is quite disturbing, given the fact that all of these studies (which are industry sponsored) are used to develop drugs/vaccines to supposedly help people, train medical staff, educate medical students and more.

It’s common for many to dismiss a lot of great work by experts and researchers at various institutions around the globe which isn’t “peer-reviewed” and doesn’t appear in a “credible” medical journal, but as we can see, “peer-reviewed” doesn’t really mean much anymore. “Credible” medical journals continue to lose their tenability in the eyes of experts and employees of the journals themselves, like Dr. Horton.

He also went on to call himself out in a sense, stating that journal editors aid and abet the worst behaviours, that the amount of bad research is alarming, that data is sculpted to fit a preferred theory. He goes on to observe that important confirmations are often rejected and little is done to correct bad practices. What’s worse, much of what goes on could even be considered borderline misconduct.

Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), which is considered to another one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, makes her view of the subject quite plain:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine”

I note that it isn’t any of the pro-vaxxers, the climate change scammers, the “I fucking love science” crowd or the True Believers in evolution that are calling out this vast quantity of scientific fraud, but rather the science skeptics, like me, who have repeatedly and reliably observed that the human element of the profession has indelibly tainted all confidence in the process.

And then recall that this is what Sam Harris believes can and should replace philosophy and traditional morality as an effective guide to human behavior.