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Evolution isn't working fast enough. More dumbasses need to be shot.

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It’s a Tribal thing

I see Manchester United’s bus was attacked by West Ham fans as it tried to get into the stadium. Rioting sports fans is nothing new. In fact England is somewhat notorious for its ‘(soccer)football hooligans’.

It happens here in the States and Canada as well. Last year at a Monday Night Football a Vikings fan was beaten by some 49ers fans.

In the late ’80’s and early ’90’s there were high school teams that refused to use the locker rooms at a couple of the schools located on tribal lands (cough, New Town, cough, cough) due to safety concerns. The teams would arrive on the bus in their gear, play the game, and then go from the field/court to the waiting bus outside and drive off. While I didn’t see it personally, I heard that at least once someone was shooting at one of the buses as it rolled out of town (I think that was in Parshall).

The thing is, this bad behavior isn’t necessarily a racial or ethnic thing, despite protestations otherwise. It’s a Tribal thing. But not as in ‘their just a bunch of uncivilized indians’, but rather who or what you identify with. It’s people who identify with Team X and attacking the symbolism of the ‘Other’. It’s also usually conducted by younger people, in their teens and twenties. Usually this is limited to vocal taunting and gestures, but occasionally we’ll see it make news headlines when it becomes physical.

Fandom isn’t necessarily geographic in nature either. Though local areas generally are more supportive of a team, you will frequently find fans of that team in far flung places as well.

A couple of years ago I attended a MN Vikings game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis with my Father-in-Law and Brother-in-Law. None of us is a Vikings fan. But after attending a couple of Chiefs games in KC because my Brother-in-Law is a Chiefs fan, my Father-in-Law wanted us to see a NY Jets game as well. The couple sitting next to us were Viking fans, as could be expected. But they weren’t from Minnesota. No, they flew in from New York City to watch the Vikings play. They didn’t even have any ties to the MN area.

In today’s world, at least in the US, we often choose our tribe rather than being born into it. Sometimes that tribe is the local one, sometimes not. Sometimes it’s loyalty to the team, sometimes it’s loyalty to a particular player. But once we’ve made that choice we can sometimes become overly passionate about it and lose focus on being good people. Attacking someone or something because they are perceived as ‘Other’ isn’t limited to sports either. Anything with fans falls into this same trap, though it might not always be physical in nature. Though sometimes it goes beyond mere heckling to harassment and even libel/defamation (See Sad Puppies 3 where several ‘news’ organizations had to retract ‘articles’ regarding Larry Correia).

Continue reading “It’s a Tribal thing”

Over inflated much?

So,  a certain author is having kittens over the fact her work ended up on the Sad Puppies IV list. How much of a delusional narcissist are you that you don’t want the wrong people liking what you’ve written? I mean really, if you don’t want people to recommend your writing I suppose they can take you up on that offer and review your work in the context that only the right people dare read it. God forbid it end up on a list that you think is a ‘slate’. For a writer, you don’t seem to know definitions very well. Here, let me help you out on that.

slate.jpg

Well, lookee there. A ‘slate’ is “a list of candidates for nomination or election”. Damn woman, YOU ARE ON A FUCKING SLATE! Hell, you’re on multiple slates. A slate is just a damn list.


EDIT (3-21-16 1911 hrs): The Locus Awards is very much a ‘slate’ of the type she is fearful of. They even used to tout it. “The Locus Awards are presented to winners of Locus Magazine‘s annual readers’ poll, which was established in the early ’70s specifically to provide recommendations and suggestions to Hugo Awards voters.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110612174115/http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/Locus.html


 

Not having read the nominated work I popped over to Amazon to see what it’s like. One of the things that struck me was the suggested retail price of her novella. Both the hard cover and the eBook have the same recommended price.

Overpriced

$40? For a short, 144 page story? Not only no, but mother-fucking-hell-no! I would hesitate to purchase a leather bound copy of something that I actually like for that price. Your publisher is as delusional as you are if you think many people are going to pay full price for a short work like that.

Let’s break this down for easy comprehension. Miss Valente, you have an over inflated ego to think that you can control whether some people like your writing or not. And your publisher is apparently delusional if it thinks it will sell many copies of a novella at such an over inflated price. Get over yourselves before you both end up on the welfare line.

Preliminary Analysis part 2

Here is some of the Amazon Sales rank data and charts off of it. I would have preferred getting numbers on actual books sold, but I don’t see a way to get that info. So I’m going off of Amazon’s Kindle (eBook) paid sales rankings. As those rankings just give a sort of snapshot in time, I’ve taken a look at them a few times and will likely look a couple of more times to get more data points as the rankings seem rather volatile. I took a quick look at Barnes & Noble’s rankings as well and ended up throwing all of that out as there were many more works that B&N didn’t have available than Amazon. I chose to took at eBooks since I can fairly well say those are still ‘in print’ and wouldn’t have to go searching through multiples of old, out of print copies trying to determine which one would be the best to use, or trying to average out all the multiples. There are a few that aren’t listed (I believe CJ Cherryh has reclaimed the rights to many of her novels and has them for sale on her own site).

In general I would expect recent years to out perform past years. That does appear to be the trend when looking at the Mean and Median Sales Rank of all nominations from about the turn of the century onward, though there are some outliers. The winners generally are still best sellers and outperform the average nominee, though there are quite a few years where a non-winning book, or books, are selling much better than the winner.

Harry Potter is still kicking ass in sales. The two Harry Potter books in the list (Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire) are easily the best selling of all the nominees, and are the only ones in the top 100 of Kindle sales. The recent TV series based off The Man in the High Castle has brought that up to just outside of the top 200. The dramatization of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is keeping sales of those up as well. I think my biggest surprise is Corey’s Leviathan Wakes being in the top 1000.

The Mean Sales Rank of all nominations (1959-2015):     178,567

The Median Sales Rank of all nominations (1959-2015):    83,408

The Mean Sales rank of all winners (1953-2015):                  50,771

The Median Sales Rank of all Winners (1953-2015):             27,496 Continue reading “Preliminary Analysis part 2”

Preliminary Analysis part 1

The other day there was a discussion over at MadGeniusClub that ended up with a little discussion about the Hugos and the quality and sales of such nominated works. I indicated to Camestrosfelapton that I would look into his claims that recent Hugo Nominations by the Sad Puppies were not up to snuff. As sales data are taking longer than I’d like collect and tabulate, this project (I believe I bit off more than I can comfortably chew) will be released for viewing later.

For the moment I have some preliminary figures regarding the public’s ratings of the nominations. Ultimately I would have preferred to get all of my figures at one moment in time, but as that’s not possible and I don’t expect these numbers to change much, I’ll give you a taste of what I’ve gathered from GoodReads.


The Hugo Best Novel category 1953-2015

Mean Average of all nominations:     3.88

Median Average of all nominations: 3.88

Mean Average of Winners:                   3.96

Median Average of Winners:                3.98 Continue reading “Preliminary Analysis part 1”

Scalzi And Who’s A Jerk

Well done fisking. I guess Scalzi is just reinforcing the rule that SJWs always lie.

The Arts Mechanical

I hate to call ANYBODY a liar.  I  would like to believe that they may be mistaken. Or not have a knowledge about the facts.  Or willfully blind.  Outright lying?  Not usually. That especially goes for authors.  There was a time not too long ago when I held Authors in rather high esteem.  I still do for most.  For some though, like Mr. Scalzi that’s been rather eroded.  Especially when I see stuff like this:
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/08/24/being-a-jerk-about-the-hugos-not-as-effective-a-strategy-as-you-might-think/

He starts out saying that the puppies acted like jerks.  As if somehow the puppies created a world wide media smear campaign to smear the clique that ran world cons.  Or pressure authors to withdraw their nominations.  Or derided fans who nominated the “wrong books” as “wrong fans.”  The puppies did all that?  Actually no.  That was Scalzi and his friends.

His primary complaint is that the puppies created slate.  He’s all angry about that.  As…

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It’s All About The Bling

Sarah sums it up right here, in it barest, most minimalist form. This is what SP3 is about.

“…it’s a genre worth saving.

And saving doesn’t speak to going back to the past, but to porting the same enthusiasm and life to present day sf.”

According To Hoyt

So, let’s suppose there was an award that no longer meant increased circulation for the book that sported the little seal on the cover: how far would you be willing to fight to preserve the right to have the award given to the people you wanted/to have the chance at the award yourself? If you were, that is, someone who played by the rules of the “in” group, the writers and publishers we’ll call “the old establishment”?

I am making a leap here, as I’m not sure the Hugo no longer boosts print runs at all.  I know it no longer boosts them as it used to, because the Hugo used to be d*mn big noise, when I came into the field.  The hierarchy when I came in, as told to me by older and more scarred pros was as follows: The Hugo meant an increase in circulation; the Nebula…

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2015 Hugo Awards

There are quite a few 2015 Hugo Finalists that I’m not likely to get to. I typically don’t read much eligible material within the year. Most of my reading is older stuff. I read more eligible material this past year than I have since high school. This would be my ballot as of now.

Best Novel – empty because I’ve not read any of the finalists. Had it been listed I would have voted for Brad Torgersen’s The Chaplain’s War.

  • Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
  • The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • Skin Game, Jim Butcher (Orbit UK/Roc Books)
  • The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)

 

Best Novella – Pale Realms of Shade was the best in my opinion. I didn’t get around to Big Boys Don’t Cry or Flow.

  • Big Boys Don’t Cry, Tom Kratman (Castalia House)
  • “Flow”, Arlan Andrews, Sr. (Analog, 11-2014)
  • One Bright Star to Guide Them, John C. Wright (Castalia House)
  • “Pale Realms of Shade”, John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
  • “The Plural of Helen of Troy”, John C. Wright (City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis, Castalia House)

 

Best Novelette – empty, I haven’t read any of these. Continue reading “2015 Hugo Awards”

Why Are You So Angry?

I think this might be Sarah’s best ever blog post.

According To Hoyt

It never fails, at the end of a trollish attack, (btw even when there’s no evidence of anger anywhere) we get the question “Why are you so angry?”

Part of this is that our opponents seek to home in on a “feeling” they can use to discredit our thoughts, and when they can find no feelings in the writing, they presume “anger.”

Remember, there’s absolutely no reason to disagree with the holy writ of Marx and Engels, unless you’re angry. Or stupid. But when one admits to membership in Mensa (long since lapsed, mind, since well… the local chapter is not about beer and bad puns as was the one I joined for) it’s hard to use stupid. So we get “angry.” Mind you, some precious snow flakes also accused me of not knowing enough US history to “understand.” Yeah. It’s true that US history only became a topic of…

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Reading alternatives

With the current Tor Books fiasco going on I thought I might point out some alternatives. For those who want to continue reading but not support Tor, and don’t want to do something illegal like torrenting books, there are various places you can patronize.

  1. First, Baen Books is a wonderful place. I can’t say enough about them and the goodwill they have engendered throughout the years. They have a Free Library linked where they have some a nice sampling of some of their offerings. These are the full books, not chapter samples, and are available in a myriad of formats, so no matter what type of eReader you have you should be able to download the file and put it right on your device without any problems.
  2. Secondly, Baen Books used to put CDs in their hardcover books as a way to encourage a broader readership. The CDs were meant to be shared among fans. You may still be able to find the CDs in your local library. But you can also download them from various sites. The Fifth Imperium has copies of most of the CDs (one of the authors asked that her books not be shown, but you can still find them if you search for them). You can download the ISO.zip files if you want to burn them onto a CD for yourself, or you can download the CD.zip files and simply extract them (which is what I did). There are various formats presented, but some are not in .epub or .mobi, so you will have to convert some of them to your format of choice. This can be done quite easily through the free eLibrary program called Calibre. Between the Baen Free Library and the Baen CDs you will have a couple of hundred free Science Fiction and Fantasy titles to choose from.
  3. Project Gutenberg is a site that is actively expanding it’s collection of public domain titles of all different types of works. These are usually pretty well formatted and are in various formats for the different eReaders. Some of the titles I’ve downloaded include E. E. “Doc” Smith’s Triplanetary (of the Lensmen series) and Skylark of Space, Alan Edward Nourse’s Gold In the Sky and Raymond Jones’ The Year When Stardust Fell. There are other Project Gutenberg sites for various other countries as well, since not all countries have the same copyright laws.
  4. Phoenix Pick is another SF/F publisher that every month offers a free selection from their catalogue of new and backlist titles. Simply sign up for their monthly newsletter to find out what the featured selection is. I’ve enjoyed the offerings of Nancy Kress, Kevin J. Anderson, Catherine Wells and L. Sprague de Camp.
  5. Open Library is another choice, though I have yet to use them. They appear to be a network of libraries from around the country.

Continue reading “Reading alternatives”

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