Tag Archives: assholes

Fried Day

Been a little run-down lately. Stress from at-home situations, general lack of restful sleep (or sleep in general), some ill health.

I’ve been reasonably productive, reaching my wordcount goal (2500 words, now that I’ve come around again to setting a goal), some of which output seems actually usable in the real world. I’m working on anthology-targeted pieces as I think I need more presence to get to the level of “respectability” that I crave. The only other way is to trad-publish one of my books…the trad-published have a real thing about self-publishers, and it’s hard to be taken seriously by other authors when you do it. One has to have a really outstanding body of work in order to pull it off, assuming one has pro-level skills (and, hubris aside, I’m assuming that. You may feel free to upbraid me for my error if you wish.) Continue reading

Yeah, so I voted

Hugo retro awardPuppygate hasn’t broken the Hugo awards. To my mind, the inclusion of fantasy work on the ballot broke them long ago. But I still vote, because if you don’t, you have no room to complain.
Yes, I read all of the nominated work, included in the voter packet. Or at least tried to.
To be honest, I don’t like much of the nominated work, puppy-derived or otherwise. None of my nominees made the cut. Continue reading


One of my acquaintances was complaining about a story rejection the other day, wondering why he bothers to continue writing in the face of years of rejection. His conclusion was to doubt himself, saying that he doesn’t think he has the talent to succeed. I doubt that’s true.

But I sympathize. Hell, I even empathize with the “plight” of the SF world’s Sad Puppies, which is, or was initially, about lack of recognition.

It’s the same thing. But the Puppies’ thing got perverted until the original kernel was lost, unrecognizable.

I understand that, too. It’s easy enough to be bitter about things like that. I don’t even get recognized in my own home. I have responsibilities that mean I can’t get in a full day’s work during working hours, and a medical condition that means that I rarely have the energy to do it later…hell, since I got sick four years ago, I barely feel like a part of humanity. The meds help to keep that comfortably numb feeling, to turn the other cheek, and keep on keepin’ on as life goes further and further into the shitter.

But self-pity isn’t the point here. I recognize that, like I recognize the gray-haired figure that greets me in the bathroom mirror every day when I get up.

Or is it? Is that sense of self-worth so tied to the idea that other people confer it? So that when you don’t even get a smidgen of grudging respect, it eats at you, turns you bitter, exacerbating the problem?

Nah. Couldn’t be.

Not me, says you, mixing tenses and personae most disagreeably. I’m not responsible for what other people think, nor do I care.

You can even begin to believe something like that. People have weird ways to care, and to show that they care–because they’re all screwed up by life, the same as you are, I am, we are, he says, twisting his fingers in a strange rhumba.

Getting warm, maybe? Close to the mark?

Everyone’s got some bully in them, I think. People are seldom merciful in a position of power, seldom noble. Instead what we get is a collection of petty tyrants who bull ahead in their own self-interest and then judge other people as if they held the moral high ground, and refuse to concede that there might be any wrongness in their quests for the elusive bluebird of personal satisfaction.

And YOU have to compensate for them, aid them in their quest. Or absent yourself from the proceedings.

They have planted an OB on you, says EF Russell. And it’ll take time and patience to worm your way out of it. Or drastic measures.

Root for the tough guy who saves the day. Suck it up, bide your time until you have your moment. Be ever-vigilant for your opportunity. There’s always tomorrow…

But tomorrow is promised to nobody.


In terms of interpersonal communication, it would be strange indeed if I came from any other point of view. This would basically be because I AM an old white guy.

Moreover, I pretty much live in a bubble. More than most. I have respiratory issues, and I don’t get out much, because that means carrying tanks around and time limits and other gentle reminders that I’m different.

The trend these days is to blame old white guys for everything. It doesn’t matter whether we have or don’t have the power to affect any of the things that are our “responsibility”, just that we’re white, and old, and our kind have dominated North American society for far too long, and ruled with too heavy of a hand, or something like that.

I can’t keep straight all the things that I’m blamed for that aren’t my doing. I don’t really want to. Why would I?

Got real things to worry about, far more important than whether or not I want to apply the “word” cis to my person.

I know, I know, I wrote a bit about the Hugo Awards, and that has aught to do with this, I suppose, slidewise. Cuz those guys kinda, on the face of it, or at least judging by their initial “arguments”, espoused the same pov. The stodgy old white dude that wants things a certain way thing.

But whatever. That way lies conservatism, and I loathe that personally and politically. My bubble is transparent–I can see out, and others can see in. But it rains outside the bubble when people piss in the wind.

But RACE. Race is BAD. Old white guys are the problem. All of us. It’s congenital, doncha know.

Excellent, analysis, I say.

…and the crickets agree.

Working on Letters from Outside today. Still looks good for May Day debut. Backend functions properly, just have to copy and paste the formatted stuff.

Looking forward to being done with that part of it.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Fall of Cthulhu. Thanks for reading.the Fall of Cthulhu

Miserable Bitches

I’ve been an sf fan since that fateful day in 1970 when I discovered Dangerous Visions, and found a copy of an oldish issue of Galaxy with the cover torn off on my way home from the library.

I had read some science fiction previously-already in my headboard bookcase were copies of Dune, Stranger in a Strange Land, and I, Robot. There was Tolkien and a volume of Lovecraft’s tales.

So when I say that I’ve loved sf almost all of my life, I’m not kidding.

Somewhere in there, I procured copies of the best stories from The Hugo Winners, in three volumes. Those were fantastic pieces in every sense of the word, the highest art, and I cherished them along with the Nebula Awards winners volumes that came out every year.

Those stories were so good that those awards meant something to me-a standard of excellence perhaps.

Along the way to adulthood and beyond, I subscribed to the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and, later Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. I even dabbled in writing, and IASFM’s then-editor George Scithers wrote me a couple of letters back that I still refer to, about professionalism and the need for plot.

Even went to a few conventions, as the annual ChiCon was easy to get to by bus or train or even automobile, later. I started voting for the Hugo Awards after finding out how from a Klingon sometime in the early 80s.

As a card-carrying adult, those stories and awards still mean something. They have the air of authenticity about them. Or had.

While I’m fully aware that I’m a nobody, and won’t be winning any awards any time soon, I have feelings about that, and feel like expressing them.

I’ve seen many, many posts and blogposts and scholarly articles about the 2013, 2014, and 2015 ramping-up of the “Sad Puppies” gambit. I’ve seen a couple that defend the Sad Puppies, or enjoy the “whining” of those who oppose that slate of stories and authors.

Assholes abound.

This could be a tempest in a teapot. The “New Wave” thing was embers when I started serious reading. I was on both sides. I like science in my science fiction, though I also like literary quality. You can have both.

I dislike the term Sci-Fi, which to me refers to bad B-movies and whizbang stories where the science and fiction are secondary to slam-bang action. Military sf mostly falls into this category. I tend to dislike military anything-it glorifies war, which I hate.
Joe Haldeman would be excluded from that, naturally.

I like “speculative fiction” or “science fiction”. The latter, preferably, because spec-fic also allows fantasy into the process. I still subscribe to IASFM and F&SF.

Derivative fantasy has ruined bookstore sf. Can’t find good sf on the shelves anymore because Terry Brooks and Stephen Donaldson…but I’ll save my riff on that for another post.

And these “Sad Puppies” and “Rabid Puppies” want to ruin the Hugos, analogous to that set of political operatives that want to ruin the definition of “fact” and “truth”, to pervert them to mean whatever they want, and for the same reason:because they CAN.

I don’t buy all the window-dressing about restoring action-oriented sf, and all of that. It’s a reaction to the camp that prized that stupid post about reading only LGBT stuff for a year. It’s about polluting our precious bodily fluids, about racial purity, about restoring the status quo of old white men sitting in judgement of everything.

I’m an old white man. Fuck all of that.

Can’t really afford it this year, as I’m on Gov’t disability and that political bloc has maneuvered my food stamp benefits down to 18 dollars a month, and are trying to cut off my health benefits, but I’m voting.

I don’t want the Hugo Awards to die, any more than I want me to die, because of some asshole’s idea of eutopia or purported exclusion. It’s a merit award-it’s been noted that scores of excellent sf writers have never even been nominated.

I mulled over whether to vote for Noah Ward or do something else. Screw Noah Ward. The real questions for me involve whether Jeff VanderMeer or William Gibson wins the best novel Hugo, and other things of that nature.

I plan to vote as if the miserable bitches don’t even exist. And I’m going to keep on voting, and I plan to vote for some of those writers who haven’t been nominated, just because.

Join me, won’t you?

More reading:
George RR Martin

the Daily Beast

Know Your Meme

the Atlantic



Today was one of those days too…but a different kind of one of those days. We actually seem to be making some progress with the kid. While she’s still often defiant, she spends time thinking about what she should do before she does it (at least most of the time), and that’s one of the primary lessons we’re trying to get across.

That’s a plus-even though the process is maddening.

On the other hand, I was surrounded by stupid and by obstinate on the internet. I interrupted that parade of nincompoops to watch and excellent Cubs game, but the poop is still there.

Most of us on the net belong to a hobby forum of some kind at one time or another. Involvement is cyclical and depends on time and desire. I’m not much of a joiner. I’ve belonged to seven forums in the nearly 20 years I’ve been online. Most of them I drifted away from.

One forum I’ve been a member of for nine years, first as ______________, a username I shan’t disclose, and then under my usual title moderan. It’s ostensibly a forum for writers. Most of the time it’s tolerable, and I have some good friends there. Once in a while it’s fun, and someone shows real wit and makes time pass easily.

Other times…well, it sucks. Currently it’s going through such massive suck that I’m contemplating a hiatus. Hell, I’m thinking about leaving completely, and flouncing just to make it official, before something actually blows up.

The culture of this site is such that all of these tyro writers expect candy and awards all of the time, and advice from people who have “been there”, and “done that” fall into the same category as “wannabes” with no discernible publication history or expertise.

Anything contradictory is seen as negative, as “no fun.” It’s much like kindergarten. I’ve spent the better part of three days having an argument via personal message with a moderator who cannot admit that he was wrong, and instead indulges in armchair psychoanalysis. “Skodt” is this worthy’s appellation.

The impetus for this whole thing was a poster that asked how to describe the smell and taste of pot.

Mr. Skodt chimed in, saying that he had no personal experience, but that burning weed smelled like skunk or like garbage. You know, that kinda cliched bullshit.

I basically told him he had his head up his ass, adding that I have had extensive personal experience which said that he was wrong.

He stood his ground. Still is standing the same ground, despite repeated proof. His ego cannot even conceive that he’s been schooled, and without effort.

His English usage is so bad that I could not reasonably call him a competent writer. He has no business teaching other people to do what he does.

I copied off all of the pm exchanges and sent the file to the administrators. Since I have been a longtime member, have been staff at this place, and have otherwise given my time and talent generously, I feel entitled to better treatment than writing messages to a sneering buffoon.

And not the only one. There’s a whole list of moderators and other staff who are just useless, who have no expertise in writing, publishing, or anything else, who feel free to give advice to similarly struggling people, most of them young.

From my “advanced perspective” (I’ve sold at last count one hundred and ten stories, thirty-two poems or lyrics, about two hundred news articles, and one book back in the 80s), this is maddening. It’s just clamor, and it has no direction.

I’m also tired of asking my friends on staff to mediate disputes that arise because people get their egos in an uproar when they’re hip-checked.

Another poster has a book coming out. She’s publishing through one of those pay-by-the-book schlock outfits, something that I ferreted out yesterday. She’s not good enough to publish traditionally, and apparently too stupid to do the research that would have resulted in a self or indie-pubbed volume. She refuses all help anyway. She knows what she is doing, in her own head.

Another cannot write coherently, edit, proof, or do anything resembling story, but claims that he will have a book out, has an editor and proofreader, and aspires to be an editor. I offered him a green visor I bought on eBay some time ago. Among other things.

These people need to be told the truth. I think it’s better that I do it than some editor or publisher do it when it counts. What happened to realistic self-assessment?

“Well, it has three 4-star reviews and two three-star reviews. I want to fire back at the 3-star reviewer because he only looked at the flaws and I only want smoke blown in my direction if not actually up my ass.”

I swear on a stack of Necronomicons that this is really the person’s attitude. It’s only slightly paraphrased.

I got a copy of the ebook from the publisher. Sad trash it is, about as literate and creative as Disney’s Mulan, a candidate for worst movie ever made in my not so humble opinion. Approximately as many grammarical/spelling errors per page as a Stephenie Meyer tome, and about as entertaining.

That’s the only review that will appear from this source. This party’s attitude has from the very start been so bad that I’m almost not sorry she’s being taken for a ride. And of course Moderator A refuses to do anything to help;it’s not his job.

The site almost slipped away before. I think it’s going this time. There’s no there, there, anymore. I haven’t had anything approaching an intelligent conversation since before my hernia surgery.

Sad. I know, your hearts bleed for me. I’ve pretty much decided not to go back, even if it means abandoning a couple of decent projects I have going. My former favorite part of the site, the monthly Literary Maneuvers, has been broken down by these dimbulbs and their demands also. My last entry, a first draft that I didn’t bother to edit, took the red ribbon.

It stopped being fun.

I don’t have time anymore, during those few precious hours when I can do what I want to do, to argue with people about anything. I sure as hell don’t want to be disrespected by some yutz forum mod with an ego problem.

So, in the spirit of Soundgarden’s Whitey Ford, here’s my take on the matter.

Hey, you. Yeah, you. Go fuck yourself. Do it in the road.

Hey, you, tyro writer with the gossamer skin. Fuck you too. Fuck you on wheels, with fire.

Hey, you writingforums litfic pencil dicks. Yeah, you. Fuck you with a rhino horn. When you turn to profile, I can see the sun through your ears.

This has been a recording.



names: Skodt, Lewdog, Shadowalker, Jamie. If you go there, you are forewarned of their assholishness. There Are more, but that’s a good start.