Pink SF is racist

For all that the SF-SJWs posture and pose about their anti-racism, mainstream SF/F, and in particular, SF/F editors, have proven to be some of the worst racists to be found outside the Ku Klux Klan. You know it’s true, as not only has Tor’s Patrick Nielsen Hayden publicly confessed to being a racist, but a statistician has conclusively proved how virulently and structurally racist the mainstream science fiction publications are.

For many science fiction and fantasy writers, the value of a solid bibliography of short fiction cannot be understated. While sales often aren’t lucrative enough to be an independent income stream, it can lead to novel solicitations, columns, editorial positions, and other work that can lead to a higher profile and more opportunities. Having published short fiction helps a writer expose their ideas to the wider community and build an audience, a brand, and a foundation from which to grow their careers.

The field of short science fiction and fantasy — at least U.S. publications, which make up the bulk of the field — is essentially not publishing black writers. This locks them out of this valuable process.

I first noticed this in the anthology market. Several anthologies that I looked at, that I read, and even that I initially reviewed positively looked pretty diverse until I took a closer look at their table of contents, which appeared to have zero stories written by black people. I knew of several other anthologies with missions of publishing black authors specifically or people of color generally, so I was pretty sure that this pattern wasn’t in alignment with the actual demographics of the field. At the same time, someone I know, Ethan Robinson, was noticing the same thing about the magazine markets.

And he began to count.

The methodology is flawed, as it’s based in self-reported data whenever possible, but such data was not always findable or clear. I consulted an actuary, Weston Allen. He and I assumed that there may have been a few false positives and false negatives, but not in such numbers as to unduly dilute the study. And the numbers are very damning. Out of 2,039 original stories published in 63 magazines in 2015, only 38 stories could be found that were written by black authors.

That’s just under 2%. The median number of stories by black authors in these magazines is zero, which means that more than half of all speculative fiction publications measured did not publish a single original story by a black author in the year of 2015.

Very damning indeed. I don’t know about you, but obviously, the only solution is for Tor Books, Orbit, DAW, and all the various science fiction magazines to publicly commit to devote at least 14 percent of their total published word count and book advance money to African-American authors, and another 2 percent to Native American authors. Also, all future science fiction awards should go to African-American and Native American authors until the historical percentages are in line with current demographics.

Anything less would only prove that they are horrible racists who want to murder blacks and Indians.

Fight the evil racists of science fiction! Preorder THE CORRODING EMPIRE today before tomorrow’s launch!


Amazon rejects Pink SF

A first start at it, anyhow. Amazon tells Romance authors – and publishers – to stop inflicting their romances on the readers of other genres, starting with Science Fiction & Fantasy:

Do not add books from any Romance category to these categories: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children’s.

PRAISES BE TO THE GODS! Unfortunately, it is too little, too late. I’ve been complaining about this sort of thing ever since Twilight got crammed into my horror genre.  :'(

Romance is a separate genre from sci-fi and fantasy. And I don’t care how much authors argue otherwise, no, your book cannot be both. You can’t serve two (or three) masters.

A romance, at its root, specifically focuses on romantic love between two people, with an emotionally satisfying ending (usually, happily ever after, or HEA). In a romance, the relationship itself is the most important and driving motivator of the plot.

A fantasy, at its root, specifically focuses on magic and the supernatural as the primary motivators of the plot, presented within a self-contained world. In a fantasy, the presence of magic and the supernatural is the driving motivator of the plot.

A sci-fi, at its root, specifically focuses on fantastic but logically plausible creatures and technological developments while looking at the consequences of such developments. It is generally defined as writing rationally about alternative possibilities.

The fundamental problem is that too many authors neither understand nor respect the meaning and function of genre categories. Genres exist to help READERS find the type of stories they want. As others have said, I can’t use Amazon to search for fantasy or sci-fi anymore because half the search results come up as romances.  Your romance might be set in a futuristic setting, but that doesn’t mean you are serving the needs of the science fiction genre. Just because the hero in your romance is a werewolf doesn’t mean it is a fantasy. It just means you took your romance and gave it a paranormal cosmetic makeover.

This is particularly frustrating since Amazon DOES, in fact, have rather substantial sub-categories that can call out your fantasy-leaning or futuristic leaning romances. There is zero reason to take a romance novel and shove it into a non-romance category.

Of course, the romance authors trying to game the system by putting their wereseal erotica in science fiction are whining up a storm. But the fact is, it is a massive turnoff to readers of military science fiction to see their bestseller lists infested by My Secret SpecOps Lover and whatnot.

Bullshit like The Quantum Rose isn’t science fiction any more than Taken by the T-Rex is. It’s just romance in space. Amazon should have done this a long time ago. It would be good to see them add this restriction to Western and Military categories as well.

Now, there is nothing wrong with writing, or reading, romance in space if that’s what floats your boat. But stop pretending it is science fiction! And stop pretending elf erotica is high fantasy! As one author, Edwin M. Grant, commented, Taken by the Alien Alpha Barbarian is not Military SF just because it’s set in space and the barbarian beats up a few people.

And as for those books that cross both genres, the obvious answer is to throw them in Romance. The Romance readers won’t mind, since they’re happy as long as there is a female protagonist pursued by two alpha males between whom she must choose. They don’t care if the alpha males are men, vampires, wereseals, elves, angels, or artificial intelligences. Most of the SF readers will mind.

It’s rather amusing. All the authors who understand what Amazon is doing and support it have a wide variety of book covers indicating various genres beneath their posts. All the authors who can’t understand it and think it is unfair and wrong have book covers that feature either a) women in poofy dresses or b) headless male torsos with abs underneath theirs.

You’re fucking romance writers. Now shut up and go away.


“We’re winning!” he cried, as the ship went down

This is an almost remarkably stupid post by an SF-SJW who clearly has not been paying much attention to developments over the last two years or so.

The puppies’ experiences as nerd-fuhrers may well come to define their adult lives but their flirtations with moral entrepreneurship failed to secure them the kind of following that might provide access to the lucrative world of conservative cultural commentary. Even worse, their attempts to cultivate a right-wing alternative to the stuttering multiculturalism of mainstream genre spaces appears to have resulted in little more than a handful of underwhelming blogs supporting the work of a few self-publishing authors.

Let’s see. VP is now the biggest, most well-trafficked blog of any science fiction writer. The Castalia House blog is seeing record traffic and already has more comments and commenters per post than Black Gate. Castalia House publishing continues to grow at a rate of 100+ percent year-on-year in both January and February. Larry Correia continues to sell vast quantities of books.

And a novel we published as an in-house joke is ranked much higher on Amazon than the current Hugo Award winner. On preorder.

Of course we’re not weighing in heavily on the Hugos this year. The Dread Ilk decided not to do so last year, even before the rules changes were ratified. Instead, we used those resources to build Infogalactic and Infogalactic News, which already have more traffic than VP does. Gab is going gangbusters, Crypto.Fashion is doing extremely well – speaking of Rabid Puppies – and there are a whole host of other projects in various stages of development, some of which will directly affect the SF/F book publishing world.

And the God-Emperor now rules. Still. Not. Tired.

But let’s not tell the secret kings on their sinking ships any of that. It’s going to be vastly amusing to watch them panic and scurry once they realize that their Great and Powerful SF Establishment is not only full of holes and taking on water, it is on the verge of having to slash contracts and writers on a scale that we have never seen before.

Amazon has realized that the Pink SF invasion is not good for sales. The converged publishing houses that still haven’t figured that out are going to die, and soon.

“Warning: Do not add books from any Romance category to these categories: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children’s.”


Mailvox: the Collapsing Parodist

Tor sent out an email with a big excerpt from McRapey’s forthcoming attempt to take his inimitable skills at imitation to new heights and rip off both Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert AT THE SAME TIME:

Enter The Flow With Excerpts from John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire

The Collapsing Empire is available March 21, but in the meantime, you can transport yourself into Scalzi’s interstellar epic with excerpts on Tor.com. We’ll be posting chapters all week; you can get started right away with the prologue and Chapter One, and check back all this week for additional excerpts, collected below. Happy Reading!

Yesterday I received an email from an intrepid SF reader who boldly dared to go where few would bother. His conclusions:

I read the excerpt and postscript of it just yesterday. It is really bad – there’s an entire chapter where strategy or politics is discussed by some lady who has been walked in on while fucking Wesley Crusher, and she just keeps going at it while continuing the conversation. Deeply pathetic.

Wait… it turns out I made a mistake. The Amazon Look Inside copy has missing pages during the Wesley Crusher episode, which is why I thought it consumed most of the chapter. After reading the Amazon sample, I looked at the Wesley Crusher chapter that Tor posted, and she only has her conversation while having sex for about two pages or so. It is nevertheless patently ridiculous, although much much funnier in the Look Inside version where she has her third party conversation for about 15 pages while getting plowed by a boy toy.

Sadly, the misunderstood version is a better yarn. The ironic thing about it is that end of the book gives away that the Flow or whatever it is called has been based on some convoluted lie the entire time. And now they finish by having to establish a new lie to keep the galaxy going, or something.

It is surprisingly devoid of snark. Or anything resembling emotion. It reads like a damned board meeting or something. It’s like he plagiarized SFWA treasury meetings for inspiration.

Oh. My. I’m not surprised in the least. But I am amused. You know that later today, there will be an executive at Macmillan flipping through the book and saying, “wait, Patrick paid HOW much for this shit?” But then, I thought, surely the reviewer exaggerates!

No, as it turns out, no, he isn’t.

Chapter Two

Kiva Lagos was busily fucking the brains out of the assistant purser she’d been after for the last six weeks of the Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby’s trip from Lankaran to End when Second Officer Waylov Brennir entered her stateroom, unannounced. “You’re needed,” he said.


“I’m a little busy at the moment,” Kiva said. She’d just finally gotten herself into a groove, so fuck Waylov (not literally, he was awful) if she was going to get out of the groove just because he walked into it. Grooves were hard to come by. People have sex, and he was unannounced. If this was what he walked into, it was his fault, not hers. The assistant purser seemed a little concerned, but Kiva applied a little pressure to make it clear festivities were to continue.


“It’s important.”


“Trust me, so is this.”


“We’ve got a customs official who won’t let us take any haverfruit off the ship,” Brennir said. If he was shocked or scandalized by Lagos’s activities he was doing a good job of hiding it. He mostly looked bored. “Offloading our haverfruit is why we came to End. If we don’t sell it, or develop licenses, we’re screwed. You’re the owner’s representative. You’re going to have to explain to your mother why this trip was the cause of the financial ruin of your family. So perhaps you might like to join Captain Blinnikka in talking with this customs official right now to see if you can resolve this problem. Or you can just go on fucking that junior crew member, ma’am. I’m sure those are equivalent activities as regards your future, and the future of this ship, and your family.”


“Well, shit,” Kiva said. Her groove was definitely gone, and the assistant purser, her little project, looked pretty miserable at the moment. “That was a pretty impressive jab you just gave to someone who can fire your ass, Brennir.”


“You can’t fire me, ma’am,” Brennir said. “I’ve got tenure with the guild. Now, are you coming or not?”


“I’m thinking.”

Well, it is sort of reminiscent of Asimovian naming conventions, I suppose. Awful as it is, I don’t think it quite manages to top this legendary exchange from the Hugo Award-winning Redshirts, though.

“Man, I owe you a blowjob,” Duvall said.


“What?” Dahl said.


“What?” Hester said.


“Sorry,” Duvall said. “In ground forces, when someone does you a favor you tell them you owe them a sex act. If it’s a little thing, it’s a handjob. Medium, blowjob. Big favor, you owe them a fuck. Force of habit. It’s just an expression.”


“Got it,” Dahl said.


“No actual blowjob forthcoming,” Duvall said. “To be clear”


“It’s the thought that counts,” Dahl said, and turned to Hester. “What about you? You want to owe me a blowjob, too?”


“I’m thinking about it ,” Hester said.   


You can tell from that gritty, realistic dialogue that McRapey has spent a lot of time with manly, military men, doing manly, military things. But there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that McRapey has written that I find funnier than this absolute jewel of pure, unadulterated fiction.


[Vox] really has a thing for me, which is straight-up pure envy, as far as I can tell.


My dear, very dear, Mr. Scalzi, while there are certainly authors whose literary accomplishments and talents I envy, from Umberto Eco and Hermann Hesse to Tanith Lee and Edgar Allen Poe, I can assure you, with 100 percent honesty, that you are not, and have never been, among them.


Mailvox: SJWs have no loyalty

Jon sent me this at my request. For more details concerning his blackballing by Baycon, he has a post up at his own site. His story is an illustration of the falsity of the illusion to which many “nice conservatives” are still subject, those who don’t realize that SJWs will judge them by the identity of their politics, not the content of their character or the perfection of their etiquette. He’s right: SJWs had, and have, no loyalty.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy writing and convention scene is one of the worst SJW converged subcultures. While Hollywood promotes extreme perversion and hedonism, they don’t push nearly as hard as SF/F literary groups when it comes to the intellectual aspects of identity politics. My name is Jon Del Arroz, I write Science Fiction, and this is my story.

I had grown up in this community as an avid reader and convention attendee. I used to be what you would call one of those “nice guy conservatives.” I would keep silent about my politics to the best of my ability, while smiling and allowing others to rant and rave to their hearts’ content. My first foray into irritation over this occurred when Baycon, a local convention in the San Francisco Bay Area, ran a talk on how to convince friends out of believing in Creationism. I wrote to the programming director of the convention, citing my concern over how anti-Christian that sounded, and how this didn’t seem relevant to Science Fiction at all. They dismissed my concerns and told me to attend anyway.

The next year, I’d gained prominence as the writer of a web comic which had garnered some praise and a lot of web traffic. This time, they invited me to the convention and placed me on a program. Because of my Hispanic last name, they made me speak about how difficult it is for minorities in Science Fiction. I’ve never met any resistance to my being Hispanic in the SF publishing field, and I found it more of a challenge to survive that hour and a half in the company of the whining panelists

Fast forward several years later, after I’d invested time and effort speaking on panels, entertaining convention attendees and being a good friend to everyone. Whispers about the evil Sad Puppies stealing Hugo awards circled the halls. Although I’d voted with the Sad Puppies, I stayed quiet. I’d spoken personally to several prominent members of the Sad and Rabid Puppies movements by this point and learned they were nice, professional people and not the monsters they had been made out to be by the SJWs.

All the while, the God-Emperor was ascending in politics. He took slings and arrows. Many conservatives in the Sci-Fi publishing field had been hit as well. I saw the guilt by association on a regular basis, and it angered me to see people attacked for the way they voted. I still didn’t speak out much, as I had my first novel due for release the week after the election. My brainwashing from years of conventions told me I couldn’t afford that association if I wanted to sell books.

Trump won. I made a few posts as to how I was happy with the outcome of the election, complete with donning my red hat. What happened next? I received a nasty letter from my editor’s assistant about how intolerant and inflexible I was, telling me that I was not likely to be invited to be published again. SJWs weren’t just attacking someone I knew on the periphery. They’d come for me. I decided the best course of action would be to take a stand and be positive, say how proud I was of our country, of Trump and his team. My friends from the SF/F world quickly evaporated. I’d been blocked on social media, ignored by people with whom I thought I’d developed deep relationships. I’d spent hours critiquing other writers’ novels and improving their craft, yet they would not even share a link to my work, let alone make a purchase, to support me. SJWs had, and have, no loyalty.

This began my transition from “nice guy conservative” to “I am proud to be who I am.” I corresponded with prominent authors privately about what had transpired. Many of the Sad and Rabid Puppies told me I was not alone. They hardly knew me, yet helped me promote my book. I learned a valuable lesson on the meaning of true friendship and loyalty. If someone doesn’t share any core values with you, they will leave you in the dust. It’s only a matter of time.

I still couldn’t bring myself to fully speak out in these situations, fearing the loss of more long time friends. Vox emailed me with: “Learn to go public. One reason they get away with it is because everyone they do it to tries to keep it quiet. You shouldn’t.” These words haunted me, but I still clung to the past, hoping desperately that I could retain at least some of the relationships I had from my years of hard work and supporting other writers.

Inauguration time. The angry posts calling me and mine Nazis had not died down. The angry responses continued as well. My own cousin, with whom I grew up and played Risk ‘til the wee hours of the morning, disowned me over my Trump support. He told me he was ashamed to call me family, and that I was never his friend. Matters became worse in the Science Fiction world. Prominent authors stepped up their game of name-calling. I wear their condemnations as badges of honor and will use them as blurbs on future books. I’d finally had enough when I found that my home convention, where I’d been a guest for years had blackballed me from speaking.

I’m done. It’s too much. There’s no logic. There’s no rationality. There’s no love. There’s no friendship. SJWs want to shut me down and destroy my career, and they want to find you and do the same to you, if they haven’t already. I’ve taken the leap of going public. I’m not scared to say who I am, who I like, who I voted for. They’re not going to shut me up because I have the platform of the internet. Vox was right. Every single time they shut you down, go public with it as I just did.

I’ve gotten a few hateful comments, but nothing worse than they’ve already called me. The people who were on the fringes of hating me, but warned me that I needed to play ball, were going to hate me anyway. I’m not losing anything. These people were not going to buy my products. They’re not going to support you either. But it’s not that bad. There is tremendous upside to going public, however.

I’ve had congratulations from friends. My blog has been reposted by dozens of prominent authors from Castalia House and others. Dragon Award Winner Nick Cole shared my story, and that by itself sold me more books in an hour than attending conventions for years ever did for me. There’s a lot of us. We’re not alone and we’re no longer afraid.

Here’s my advice:

  1. Be who you are, and go public when you’re wronged by SJWs. Every time one of us comes out of the closet, it makes it easier for the next dozen. This is how we will change the culture.
  2. Don’t be attached to being liked or respected by SJWs. They won’t change their minds no matter how nice you are.
  3. Reach out and find support groups. There’s millions of alt-right, libertarian, conservative, and Christian people out there. We’re the majority. Remember that.
  4. Never get tired of winning.

If you’re interested in my space opera, it’s called Star Realms: Rescue Run.


The coming death of big publishing

It’s coming, and it’s coming much faster than anyone is really prepared for. Item One: Castalia author Nick Cole visits Barnes & Noble:

The other day I popped in to a big Barnes & Noble anchor store inside a high traffic entertainment complex called the Spectrum down in Irvine, California. The rest of the world may be experiencing some kind of recession as a result of Obama’s disastrous economic policies as is now being admitted by all sides, but Southern California barely shows the effects. Unless you know where to look.

So, I just wanted to cruise the science fiction section, and of course see if any of my books were in stock, and look around and see if there was anything interesting to pick up.

This is just an update on an unfolding disaster I’ve talked about before regarding the science fiction section at Barnes and Noble.

It’s a disaster. Seriously.

The science fiction section consisted of  three small shelves, badly, and fully, stocked with some standard big hitters for sure-fire sales.  But there wasn’t enough evidence in those three tiny half-aisles that spoke exciting and aggressive growth in the genre. It felt stale. It felt old. It felt Soviet. It felt defeated.  Maybe that was because it was stuck on the second floor, back near the bathroom.  You know where they keep all the best selllers and the sexiest books

Hint: No they don’t.

No, this particular placement for the once-vaunted science fiction section, a staple they kept so many bookstores alive with the trade of the faithful binge-buying junkie science fiction readers cleaning them out,  is now relegated to the smelly back of the store.  It seemed like some sort of discount holdover section no bookseller wanted to be sent into to organize. There was no love. It was forsaken.

Of course it is, because modern mainstream science fiction isn’t science fiction at all, but social justice fiction, as Barnes & Noble itself will confirm. Item Two: B&N blogger Joel Cunningham lists 20 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books with a Message of Social Justice:

From The Time Machine to Kirk and Uhura‘s unprecedented kiss, speculative fiction has often concerned itself with breaking barriers and exploring issues of race, inequality, and injustice. The fantastical elements of genre, from alien beings to magical ones, allow writers to confront controversial issues in metaphor, granting them a subversive power that often goes unheralded. On this, the day we celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., let us consider 20 novels that incorporate themes of social justice into stories that still deliver the goods—compelling plots, characters you’ll fall in love with, ideas that will expand your mind. Let’s imagine a day when the utopian ideals of Star Trek are more than just the stuff of science fiction. 

They’ll have to imagine it, because it has zero relevance to the society of the future, which is much more likely to resemble the Reavers of Firefly than the neutered pantsuits of Star Trek. I was shocked the last time I visited my favorite Barnes & Noble, and that was more than 12 years ago. What had once been a large, healthy, well-stocked SF/F section – and one that carried both my books at the time – had somehow been shrunk into two bookshelves, one of which was entirely filled with graphic novels and television-show tie-in novels. Most of the rest of the “science fiction” novels had covers that looked like romance novels. I can’t even imagine what it looks like now.

Anyhow, in light of Nick’s prediction, it is interesting to observe that at least one mainstream publisher is attempting to think outside the box, as Macmillan has set up Pronoun, a pan-channel ebook distribution system that pays 70 percent on all digital sales, which compares well with Amazon’s Amazon-only 68.5 percent. It’s a pretty good deal, although it is probably five years too late in coming, as I strongly suspect another system, from a much more formidable player, is already in development.

And finally, since I mentioned graphic novels, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that one for Quantum Mortis is in the works.


A late SF giant and Pink SF

From a short, but substantive interview with the late Poul Anderson in 1975:

TANGENT: What do you think of the cycles and trends in science fiction, if they exist at all?

ANDERSON: Well, I think Algis Budrys put it very well once—a passing remark in a review or something: ‘Trends are for second-raters.’ There seems to be an occasional bandwagon, but what really happens is somebody has come along and broken new ground, done something original, and it’s worth exploring, you know, so naturally we all get interested—a lot of us try ourselves out in it too. But as far as making that an all-time direction or something, that is only what people incapable of originality would do. The originators, the ground breakers, they’ve gone on to something else.

I think, basically, that Jim Baen is right in his new direction. Not that there should be any declared moratorium on down-beat stories, but it does look as if that theme has been pretty well worked out, for the time being at least. What new disasters can you think of that haven’t already been done? (Laughs) You get these cycles, you know, about ten years or so ago, there was such a rash of stories, about psionics especially, and we all got sick of ‘psi’, and about ten years before that there’d been such a rash of anti-utopian things, especially bad imitations of The Space Merchants. I at least got the feeling that if I read one more of those I’d have to go and throw up.

In other words, this relentless push for multiculturalism, female authors, and diversity on the part of the SF publishers, too, shall pass.

In not entirely unrelated news, the third volume in Brian Niemeier’s Soul Cycle series, THE SECRET KINGS, has been released.


When the villains are white

I think Castalia House is going to have to create a team of diverse superheroes who pursue various white villains… and fail every time because they are diverse minorities who do the diverse things that minorities do.

This is the new Spiderman Homecoming team. You can just imagine how many ways things would go wrong with a pretty Halfrican girl who is an NBA groupie, a whip-smart Hispanic girl who always has to be right and argues about everything when she’s not busy getting beat up by her gangster boyfriend, the gay Indian H1B who doesn’t actually know how to use the computer technology in which he is supposedly an expert, and the fat Asian who keeps losing track of time in the middle of his Hearthstone matches and regularly collapses after 36-hour gaming binges.

And then, of course, there is the half-Jewish Spiderman, who agonizes over every decision, wondering whether it is good for Israel or not, is insecure about his sexual orientation, and is in love with both the Hispanic and the Halfrican to no avail.

Meanwhile, the white villains are running rings around them as they work towards enriching themselves, the Ascendance of their God-Emperor and the total destruction of the United Nations. I would read THAT comic book.


Illusion and observable reality

The chart above is a Google Trends comparison between three writers, John Scalzi, Jim C. Hines, and myself. What is interesting about it is the way that it completely demolishes both the SF-SJW narrative as well as the idea that one’s only path to success runs through the gatekeepers.

Remember, the SF-SJW Narrative is that John Scalzi was hugely popular due to Whatever being the most popular blog in science fiction. Tor Books signed him because of that massive success, and he subsequently became one of the leading authors of science fiction, which led to his massive $2.3 million book contract and his status as the unquestioned #1 author at Tor Books, itself the #1 science fiction publisher. He presently stands astride science fiction like a snarky giant, the one true heir to Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, H. Beam Piper, and Isaac Asimov, all in one.

That’s the Narrative, anyway. But as you can see, even at the time of my initial encounter with him in March 2005, his trend score was less than twice mine, at 26-17 the month before. And as we now know, he was always lying about his site traffic, exaggerating it by as much as a factor of 5x, although we should have known that by virtue of his lower-than expected Google Trend score.

Scalzi’s signing by Tor Books subsequently boosted his career, as the general growth, and two peaks in particular, demonstrate. But not even winning the Hugo, two major book tours, or the announcement of the biggest publicly announced book contract in science fiction was enough to help him break out and reach the level of a genuine leading author like Brandon Sanderson, and his declining site traffic actually has him trending well below where he was back in 2004. Sanderson’s current advantage is 54-12 and the 5-year average is 41-15. As I have repeatedly observed, Scalzi is a midlist author masquerading as a leading author courtesy of an amenable authority named PNH.

He’ll surely get another spike when Tor starts pumping up his next book in earnest next spring, but that effect will fade away as quickly as the previous attempts have. And that is when you have the benefit of the biggest publisher in science fiction pushing you on the world! No wonder he admits to feeling like an imposter, it’s because he is an imposter. He has been from the start.

Now look at Jim C. Hines, a lesser Tor author who has desperately tried to follow in Scalzi’s footsteps through a combination of award-pimping and very loud virtue-signaling. Despite all McCreepy’s efforts, he has barely been able to move the needle despite 12 years of hard slogging. One has to rather marvel at his stubborn persistence in this regard, because most people would have figured out by now that their strategy was not working.

The funny thing is that Hines is one of the many SF-SJWs who have constantly tried to push the Narrative that I am irrelevant. But neither Google Analytics nor Google Trends lies. Whether pageviews, book sales, or interest over time is the metric, it is obvious that it is Hines who is the irrelevant party.

Now, here is where it gets interesting. In case you weren’t certain that the Hugo Awards were irrelevant, and that the gatekeepers are now toothless, here is a comparison of Hugo Award-winner and New York Times columnist N.K. Jemison, Hugo Award-winner Kameron Hurley, and an oft-No Awarded outsider nominally banned from the respectable ranks.

That little spike on the red line, which only got Jemisin to within 6 points of where I was back in March 2005 when I first encountered PNH, TNH, and John Scalzi, is Jemisin’s much-ballyhooed Best Novel win. The effect has already worn off, of course, and Jemisin will likely return to her former obscurity quickly enough, as few of those unfortunate readers who sample her depressing, degenerate, award-winning work are likely to remain within her literary orbit for long.

But there are three larger lessons here than the fact that I am not above reminding SF-SJWs of their continuing inferiority and irrelevance. The first lesson is that you can NEVER trust an SJW narrative. They ALWAYS lie, and moreover, they will readily lie about things you can independently verify. Never take anything they say at face value. The SJW Narrative is that Jemisin, Hurley, and Hines are Important and Relevant Award-Winning Science Fiction Authors whereas I am a minor, vanity-published figure banished to the periphery, when the reality is that all of them sell fewer books than I do, all of them get considerably less site traffic than I do, and all of them cumulatively generate less than half the global interest I do.

The second lesson is the importance of building your own media platform and selecting your long-term partners carefully. As long as you are propped up by someone else, be it Tor Books, the New York Times, FoxNews, Universal Press Syndicate, or WorldNetDaily, you are going to be at least somewhat dependent upon them. That’s all right, as all of us need partners and allies, and it simply doesn’t make sense for most authors to try to become media savants and publishers as well as writers. Few of us are Mike Cernovich, Vaughn Heppner, or BV Larson.

There is nothing wrong with being helped, or working with a publisher, or taking advantage of a boost offered by someone else, unless it comes at a price you are unwilling to pay. But never confuse being helicoptered to the top of the mountain with climbing it on your own. It doesn’t make you a better climber.

The third lesson is that the gatekeepers are more interested in ideological conformity than in awareness, platform, or popularity. If you want to get signed by a science fiction publisher, you’re better off virtue-signaling on social media than building up a sizeable readership, a big Twitter following, or a popular blog. Of course, you’ll sell fewer books that way, but at least you’ll be able to enjoy the feeling that you’re a big-time author… right up until that fatal moment that you look at the Amazon rankings.


Adios, Asimov’s

I dropped my subscription 15 years ago. And apparently, the magazine has only gotten worse over time. It’s not even a science fiction magazine anymore:

The quality and type of fiction is a magazine is largely dependent on the main editor. If you find a magazine whose editor has tastes that align with your own it’s a guarantee that you will enjoy at least some of the stories included.

Sadly, Sheila Williams and Asimov’s do not align with my tastes at all. Actually I would like to know who her tastes align with because based on the stories in the last few issues I’m beginning to think she doesn’t actually like Science Fiction or Fantasy.

I have a digital subscription. Correction, had because I’m way over waiting for an actual SFF story from this magazine. The latest issue was the last I will ever read. Not one of the stories was an actual SFF piece. The only SF was background window dressing or downright stupid. The crowning achievement of the magazine was an idiotic novella about a gay waiter who traveled to Colonial times pretending to be an angel and getting the locals addicted to meth so he can take back Paul Revere’s silver spoons. A premise so stupid and insulting I wanted to toss my Kindle.

On the other hand, maybe we’ve misjudged these SF SJWs. Maybe they’re all just variant on the Chuck Tingle theme. Let’s face it, time-travelling gay waiters selling meth in colonial America is a pretty funny concept.

And then there is that moment when you realize that a) they’re serious, and, b) they genuinely think it is good. At this rate, Chuck Tingle is going to win a Hugo without requiring any Puppy assistance.