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Larry Correia, Once Again

Yes, I am aware that Larry Correia has once again responded to me on MONSTER HUNTER NATION. Thanks to the hundred and forty-two of you who emailed me to point this out.

(Some of you, I fear, just like the smell of blood. 'Hey, let's you and him fight.' Pfui).

Anyway... no, I am not going to reply to his reply to my reply to his reply to my posts. This is not a fifteen-round title bout, thank you. We have reached the point of diminishing returns on this. The discourse has, I think, been revealing, and I appreciate that both of us have kept the tone relatively civil, but I sincerely doubt that either one of us has swayed the other an inch.

Larry has been declared the winner by a knockout on Monster Hunter Nation. Yay for him.

I have been declared the winner by a knockout here on my Not A Blog. Yay for me.

Have any minds been changed? Was it worth all that time, all those words?

I have no bloody idea.

I could say, "it was fun while it lasted," except it wasn't.

Mr. Correia and I will just have to continue to disagree.


James Young
Apr. 15th, 2015 10:36 pm (UTC)
And let's see how Vox Day tries to twist this into an inflammatory post on his blog....

Although I have found this debate extremely interesting, I feel as if the arguing over the Hugos is just one vicious cycle, with no clear solution that can be immediately implemented to fix the problem. As you have somewhat insinuated in your past blogs Mr. Martin, I think the Hugos have been changed forever, and there is no saving them.

It's time for people to step back on both sides of the argument and realise that no minds have been changed, although it was definitely not a waste of time.
Apr. 15th, 2015 10:39 pm (UTC)
On Intent and Results
What is lost (and sometimes purposely disguised) in all of this is *intent*.

The intent of the Hugos and those that run it are based around providing awards through a bureaucratic and well-intended system. It may have migrated towards favoring a faction, but the *intent* has centered around SFF fandom and the SFF community.

No question - the *intent* of the Sad Puppy and Rabid Puppy slates has been to harm. To break and deny the Hugo Award system based on . Vox Day is vocal and unapologetic about that intent. Larry and the SP movement have been less truthful about the harm they intended to cause and the harm to average SFF fans and authors in this process.

As one of those many SFF fans in the middle, it is tough to support a cause with that goal in mind and those results accomplished.

Attend a con and to help change it from within...or to choose another con if that change is not forthcoming. Build and support and discuss with the *intent* of making our SFF family better.
Apr. 16th, 2015 12:30 am (UTC)
Re: On Intent and Results
> No question - the *intent* of the Sad Puppy and Rabid Puppy slates has been to harm.

how do you decide that there is no question about that? why is it not possible that the intent was to get works that they thought were worthy on the ballot

> Attend a con and to help change it from within

Isn't that what SP is doing? purchasing attendence to worldcon and voting.

At this point, everyone who purchases a con membership is a part of the convention, right? or are only some people part of the convention and others are still outsiders? how many years do you need to be part of the convention before you stop being an outsider?

or are you only part of the convention when you agree with everyone else?

If this is the case, then Larry was right when he said that the Hugos were an insider award, not an award representing all science fiction fandom
Apr. 16th, 2015 03:47 pm (UTC)
Re: On Intent and Results
And who are you to say that the SP represent the rest of the fandom who want to see works nominated they find worthy? Please, as an SF lover and our family voted for last year's Hugo's (utterly unaware of these campaigns)... I am growing tired to read that you must step up the plate for those poor souls who feel mispresented because they are fans. You do not represent the rest of the fans who have not spoken up, simply because we'd rather read SF than spending time campaigning for slates and rallying people to get your way. So please, stop this.
Apr. 16th, 2015 05:20 pm (UTC)
Re: On Intent and Results

Sure. It's all about ethics in book award nominations.
Apr. 15th, 2015 10:41 pm (UTC)
Been there and done that on Facebook with the same guy. Better things to do with my time. Like storytelling. Full stop.
Apr. 15th, 2015 10:44 pm (UTC)
Good idea
There reaches a point of diminishing points with any argument. If neither side shows any proclivity toward changing their point of view, it's probably best to just accept that your point has been made and his point has been made and leave it at that.
Andr Costa Silva
Apr. 16th, 2015 09:17 am (UTC)
Re: Good idea
I was going to comment exactly "we have reached the point of diminishing returns on this" even after only reading the title. But I was going to add that that point had been reached a couple of posts before. I believe it only kept going because this discussion is much more emotionally than rationally-based.
For someone watching all this from the outside in, it's clear this is a waste of time and patience. The usual
Apr. 15th, 2015 10:49 pm (UTC)
The most surreal part of this whole "controversy"
...is that the people who claim to be underrepresented largely argue that it's due to some sort of super-secret, conspiratorial cabal (made up, no doubt, of hippies, sodomites, Marxists, and ne'er-do-wells).

If that were even remotely true, how the hell were they able to hijack the process so thoroughly?

Is it possible that ostensibly-broken process somehow worked exactly as described? And that's how they knew how to "rig" the system in the first place?

All of this behavior strikes me as incredibly immature and absurd. It's akin to a small child who knocks over the checkerboard when the game isn't going his way. Or rather, a child who knocks over someone else's sand castle because he can't win at checkers, which is what he really wants.

Also, the Hugos might die, and they might not die. It would be sad if they did, but time changes all things. The important part in all this is that the Hugos were never actually about the rocket prize or the balloting process or even the authors. It was about fans of science fiction getting together to celebrate science fiction.

As long as there is always science fiction, as long as there are always fans, and as long as those fans continue to celebrate science fiction, then the true spirit of the Hugos will never die. They may have a different name, a different process, and a different award, but the sentiment will remain the same.

And all the while, years after this ridiculous escapade has passed, the hatemongers and the hijackers will have only their pyrrhic victory and their terrible, poorly-written science fiction. Assuming they actually read science fiction at all.
Apr. 15th, 2015 10:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you
Thank you, Mr. Martin - for facilitating a good discussion.

I come from the pro-GamerGate side and was happy to see thoughts on the Hugo awards. I may not have agreed with all your views, but I did learn a lot from your perspective. It makes me sad that creative mediums like books and video games are being turned into battlegrounds.
Apr. 15th, 2015 11:02 pm (UTC)
First constructive and respectful discussion between opposing parties that I've seen in this whole thing so far.

Hasn't changed my pro-SP opinion, but I at least understand the other side a whole lot better now. Thanks, GRRM and Larry.
Apr. 15th, 2015 11:02 pm (UTC)
I read Mr Correia's post and I don't think it would be rewarding or effective for you to respond. In his previous post he had made a lot of sweeping claims about fannish behavior and you asked him to back them up with specifics. In this post, he alternates between 1) apologizing for not being able to remember details; 2) trying to withdraw non-specific personal attacks so that he won't have to personalize them; 3) accusing you of McCarthyism for trying to force him to name names - when it was he who'd made the claims in the first place.

No, there's no point in pursuing this any further.
Apr. 15th, 2015 11:03 pm (UTC)
While I was not expecting everyone to change their minds on SP's position and reasoning, I was hoping that some out there would take a look from their point of view and see some of the behavior that they are complaining about. I'm not claiming victimhood for these guys, but from where I sit I do see instances of what they are talking about. I don't think this is only a Hugo problem, but one that affects a lot of thinking throughout the western world.

I don't believe there to be a secret cabal of people whose only aim is to take down conservative authors, or those particular ideas. I think it is just a popular knee-jerk reaction to side with those who accuse others of every -ist and -ism. Nobody wants to be around somebody that is hateful, plus you don't want to be associated with someone who has that label applied to them. Conservatives are racists and misogynists and hate the poor. Libertarians are all nutsos. Tea Party folks are the worst of the bunch.

Well guess what, a good chunk of conservatives are fairly religious people who follow the word of Christ and help those around them no matter the circumstance. Those who preach hate are a pretty small, but vocal group. Libertarians want to be left alone and most often go by the golden rule in their interactions with others. The Tea Party movement grew from a belief that the Constitution should be upheld and that everyone is created equal. Sure, we can find the exceptions and those people very well can be the -ists and -isms that we hear a lot about. But it is far more likely for you to bump into one of those people and have more in common with them than differences.

Watch the news from the major sources and see what they tend to cover and not cover. How the stories are presented. Just remember that when watching or reading any narrative, you are more likely to agree with someone that says the same things that you often think. When you feel that you are a normal, logical human being... your opinion must be correct. Meet someone with another opinion that is the polar opposite, it is terribly easy to think them dumb/misguided/evil. All we can hope for is that you take the time to perhaps find some common ground with that other person (especially if they are willing) and see things from the other side.
Apr. 16th, 2015 12:00 am (UTC)
Re: Unfortunate...

I'm just glad Mr. Martin has decided to let it go. Too many good writers have been spending too much time on this topic rather than writing good books. As a reader, I find that appalling.

Mr. Martin -- get thee to your keyboard and write the good stuff! ;)

Edited at 2015-04-16 12:02 am (UTC)
Apr. 17th, 2015 08:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Unfortunate...
"Time" is relative. One person's a few days is another's months. telling a clearly accomplished writer and grown-up they are spending "too much time" on something that does concern them and calls for their voice is like commanding the sun to not rise. There are famous "haunts" where famous writers spent almost ALL their "time" arguing about politics and social injustices in the world all over the planet (notably in Paris and NY) while inebriated or trying to get sloshed since, who knows when. Show me a writer whose hackles are not raised by people telling them what & when to spend their time thinking, speaking and writing about and I'll show you a crappy writer. point blank. Please stop doing that, Ser Martin knows me from Adam (or Eve in this case..literally, full disclosure, my name is Eve) but "I" (and I can't accentuate that enough) find it offensive that every time I read your posts you're "commanding" George RR Martin to get back to writing. I don't think his Editors do that as much as you have in this past week.
Vera de Ferran
Apr. 15th, 2015 11:25 pm (UTC)
At a certain point, the only solution is agree to disagree
Apr. 15th, 2015 11:29 pm (UTC)
it was helpful for me
Hello Mr. Martin,

First time commenting on your blog here. I came to your novels through HBO and have had a great time both reading your books and reading about them via the ASOIAF online community (Leigh Butler's "A Read of Ice and Fire" on Tor is a lot of fun and a good way to review something I read 3 books ago!).

Just wanted to drop in and say that your posts were valuable to me, especially since I am a more casual sci-fi/fantasy fan that's never been to a Worldcon. I was a bit confused by the whole Sad Puppies thing, but reading your thoughts about the Hugos and the people that make them work clarified things, and I found your conversation with Correia helpful because it was filled with concrete examples.

I get that this has to be frustrating for everyone, but I learned a lot by coming here, so thank you!
Qadreya Abdulraheem
Apr. 15th, 2015 11:41 pm (UTC)
no matter
Im glad you decided to stop this
Some people will never change their minds no matter what, even if they realize they are wrong they will still bark, just look at the GOP
Wish you the best,
Cheers from Dubai
Apr. 16th, 2015 12:10 am (UTC)

It was a hundred and forty THREE of us! Why are you oppressing me by leaving me out?
Apr. 16th, 2015 12:34 am (UTC)
I would like to thank both you and Correia and everyone else bitching about this...because the important thing is that PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT BOOKS.

Well, they're talking about politics and books and cons and books and personal history and books and no one (in this debate) ever really really strikes me as talking about the meaning of the books or their content or their style in anything more than a codified rhetorical way...

But that's a step toward talking about books.

Long time fan of yours, and now you've introduced me to Correia. I'm becoming a fan of his as well.

Who cares if all sides destroy the Hugo if it actually inspires people to get involved and read and discuss? I dunno, I always thought that's what the Hugo was about. And sometimes you set the flag on fire to celebrate your freedom. I hope you don't, because I want my own Hugo one day, but I don't care, from the naivety of nonameville, who gives it to me, or nominates me, and I suspect there are many nonames out there thinking the same thing, and I can't be the only one you, Correia, and everyone else involved have inspired.

So thank you.
Apr. 16th, 2015 01:14 am (UTC)

We all love smell of blood muahahahaha

Apr. 16th, 2015 02:37 am (UTC)
Forget it, George--it's the Internet
The Hugos are unrecoverable, man--it's a miracle they lasted this long. Look back on the past sixty odd years as a treasured gift, not a promised right.

When I was a teenager a man approached me at Philcon, deeply apologetic that he hadn't voted for my father's short story for that year's Hugo. He then pulled out a ballot, laid it down on the table, and carefully went over every other story in the category, explaining the exact reasons why his story was less worthy of the award than each other story. I hadn't ready any of them, even my father's--at the time I didn't read anything he wrote, out of fear they'd be bad and he'd still be my father--but I still got to be told how THIS work wasn't as good but it was by a new author and had more exciting ideas, and how THAT work showed greater mastery of the form and had stronger characters, more excitement, and a better plot. Eventually I told him, "Hey, you've gotta pick the story you think is best, no matter who wrote it," and he sighed in relief and left me to to back to playing Dungeons and Dragons.

At the time, I thought he was a tremendously rude asshole who had decided to insult my dad in the most thorough way imaginable, but with time comes perspective, and now I realize he was really struggling with the choice--he liked the story, he liked ALL the stories, and insulting most by choosing one was genuinely difficult for him. I'm really glad I managed to say something positive instead of telling him to dive in a lake.

Today, you can't start a vote like that. An award with genuine prestige will be drowned by the 'net. If anyone can vote, and worse yet any is ENCOURAGED to vote, then you lose that delicate consensus reached by the small minority of the most dedicated fans. That one rude weirdo put a lot of time and thought into picking the story most deserving of the Hugo, but that effort can't possibly compete with someone who hasn't poured over nearly every story to come out that year but HAS got an even slightly popular blog--and neither can compete with someone who has political beliefs that sync up with those of an online community with disposable income.

No rules changes to the voting process will fix things. What can you possibly do, against the combined creativity and weight of the internet?

Maybe it's just time to start caring about the Nebula Awards. Besides, they look cooler.
Apr. 16th, 2015 03:24 am (UTC)
Sometimes you just have to come to the conclusion that you already have - spinning wheels can only go so far. I recommend a good bourbon, a comfy chair and a book while the internet sits in a corner and thinks about what it's done.
Apr. 16th, 2015 03:29 am (UTC)
Do I smell a rabid puppy reference in the next book? Maybe have Nymeria come upon some rabid dogs and tear their throats out?
Apr. 16th, 2015 06:08 am (UTC)
Well, I have been setting up Ramsay Bolton's pack of wolfhounds for a couple of books now... but no, really, I would not want that read as a Tuckerization. (Though I am sure some cretin will do so).

(('Tuckerization' is one of those secret in-words that only those of us in the cabal understand.')
Stephen Strahan
Apr. 16th, 2015 10:10 am (UTC)
Ah HA!! So you are admitting that there IS a cabal!!

LOL its getting so hard to avoid the conspiracy theorists. Thank you for elucidating this mess for me. I have enjoyed reading your posts back and forth. My brother Jonathan is a SF book editor/Locus editor so I have had the benefit of his viewpoint as well. Its a sad mess and I hope the Hugo's recover from it. I can easily see how you would want to withdraw from the fray though. All the best, from a fan who is enjoying Series 5 and waiting happily for the rest of the books :)

Apr. 17th, 2015 12:53 am (UTC)
I don't know if I'm part of any cabal, and I understand tuckerization. OTOH, I'm an infovore who especially likes understanding the origin of slang/jargon terms.
Apr. 16th, 2015 04:34 am (UTC)
Have any minds been changed? Was it worth all that time, all those words?

I honestly hope and believe it was worthwhile.

Changing Correia's mind was rather unlikely. But the field is wider than just you and him. You're not trying to convince each other; you're trying to convince the public, and this series has been one of the strongest moves to do that.

You've got a lot of reach and a lot of respect. A lot of readers will have heard about Puppygate from you first. A lot of readers who didn't know much about Puppygate will have learned the details from you. A lot of Puppies who take issue with recent nominees will have you as one of their favorite authors, and might be persuaded to reconsider when the argument's coming from you, and not from their oh-so-hated Scalzi.

And never forget, for every person who comments with "OMG YOU SURE SHOWED HIM," you've got another ten or twenty or a hundred readers who read the material quietly. "The discourse has, I think, been revealing," you said, and I agree - and I hope many, many of the fans reading along will have found it revealing as well.
Apr. 16th, 2015 10:48 am (UTC)
I agree. I honestly think it's been worthwhile too.

And like you, I think it was important for the Rockstar Authors to weigh in, and a lot of them have, with very reasoned and impassioned thoughts of what the Puppies have done.

(Because it does seem like on the one side we have Correia, Torgerson, Wright, Vox, and on the other side we have... Everybody Else In Science-Fiction.)

Obviously the hardcore believers are never going to change. But it's given the opportunity to many of us to read what both sides have had to say, and to make our decisions on where we stand.

So yes. Absolutely worth it.
Apr. 16th, 2015 04:23 pm (UTC)
I believe that it was worthwhile. You have provided a calming approach for me and I'm sure for others. Assumptions checked, some confirmed, some revised. None deeply changed but the hard edge stepped back from. Thank you for your contribution to the debate.
Apr. 16th, 2015 06:21 pm (UTC)
Don't say I told you so...
George, I told you this would have happened if you replied back to Correia. We're back where we left off again in circles. This will never end..
Apr. 16th, 2015 07:24 pm (UTC)
Is it worthwhile?
I think it's worthwhile, and I think it's important. Beyond that, it's not a bad thing that you and Mr. Correia disagree on some key points in this discussion, and a good thing to see two visible figures on opposite ends of a volatile conflict disagreeing while showing civility. I credit you both.

The other thing is I'm not sure if your disagreement is as deep as it seems at first glance. There are core disagreements, but I'm seeing a lot more common ground beneath the surface.

I believe both of you are sincere in your desire for the fandom to be as inclusive as possible. I believe you have seen the obstacles women and minorities have encountered in breaking into the community, as well as some of the aggressive behaviour in resistence to it. I also believe Mr. Correia has encountered aggression toward him for ideological disagreement, and that he has been the target of unfounded accusations of racism and sexism. I suspect you would both agree that this type of behaviour is prevalent and wrong on both sides. The difference in your views on this matter are grounded in how pervasive you see this aggression against different targets.

I believe both of you opposed to the vitriol of people like Vox Day. I believe that neither of you condones the types of things he says. I believe you disagree on how Mr. Correia can best use his influence as a leader on the other side. I believe you perceive his refusal to take some responsibility for Vox's involvement and denounce him as something that enables bigots to jump into the fray, whereas I believe he considers a refusal to publicly condemn someone like Vox as a bulwark against the slippery slope of guilt by association that can lead moderates and dissenters to fear speaking out.

I believe both of you are opposed to the types of sweeping accusations of racism and misogyny levied against people like Mr. Correia and Mr. Torgersen and the divisive rhetoric of people like Arthur Chu. I believe the disagreement here is on the pervasiveness of these accusations. I believe you perceive this as the type of toxicity that flies back and forth on the internet that both sides are certainly guilty of. I believe he perceives the readiness of multiple media outlets to publish these types of accusations without sufficient fact checking as evidence of a strong institutional bias, extending beyond petty internet aggression.

I believe both of you want a system that's fair for people with a diverse range of perspectives. I believe Mr. Correia perceives a level of ideological homogeneity that created a hostile environment for people on his side strong enough that it required a response, whereas I believe you perceive his response as an act of polarization that creates conflict and hostility for people on your side of the conflict.

I may be off the mark with some of your views or his, but I believe you're both fed up with the ideological polarization that's taking place all over the internet right now. And I believe you're both frustrated by the back-and-forth harassment that erupts all too easily when people disagree on the internet. And you're probably right that neither of you has swayed the other. But you've done something more important than that.

You've given your side permission to engage with Mr. Correia and his side, as humans, just as he has with his side toward yours. There are a lot of common values between the two sides, with most of the true disagreement coming from how to prioritize those values, where the cultural biases are, and what needs to be done to find solutions. And this isn't about the Hugos. It's a broader polarization along ideological lines that's been growing throughout many areas of Western culture, as well as a blindness to our own prejudices in areas that challenge our binding moral belief systems.

Neither of you could have ever been the winner in this debate. But every time someone in your position reaches out publicly to someone like him, it shows people we can disagree while still respecting each other's basic humanity, a step toward de-polarization. The first step in moving beyond this culture war is for more people on both sides to recognize the humanity of people we disagree with.
Apr. 16th, 2015 07:44 pm (UTC)
By the SP's rationale, since GRRM's books do better and he has a TV series, he wins the argument! ;)
Apr. 17th, 2015 01:31 am (UTC)
Mind Changes
I was pretty set on the "No Awards" option for voting, but after I read one of your blogs and mulled it over for a few days, I changed my mind.

So, one mind was changed. On something that might seem insignificant to most. :)

Perhaps others experienced the same as well in other regards. Thank you for your time on this issue. Much appreciated!

Apr. 17th, 2015 12:01 pm (UTC)
Marc Fabian Erdl
Dear Sir,

you're asking:

"Was it worth it?"

Yes, I think so. Both of you, Mr Correia and Mr Martin, have proven, that this discussion, which is obviously necessary or at least unavoidable, can at least be handled in a civilised way. Even if and especially when in the end you only agree to disagree, that is - given the current heat and ado and tribulations - much, much more than nothing. Alas, I have to admit, it is no fun to read, either.

Yours truly,

Marc Fabian Erdl
Apr. 17th, 2015 03:09 pm (UTC)

Just a little note to tell you, THANK YOU for taking the time out of your Sisyphean schedule to be a voice of reason and sanity in this entire whirlwind of sour dung.

As a long time SF/F fan with a toe or two dipping in the authorial side, I have to say I've taken then entire chain of events pretty hard. But your posts have given me hope. We'll weather this.

Maybe these are not going to be a pleasant bunch of months until Sasquan and thereafter. So be it! Until then, life goes on. There's wood to chop and water to carry, as ever. And as a SF/F fan, the only proper response I can give to the whole thing is now clear to me:

Read more.

Write more.

And maybe, eventually, find it in my heart to feel a bit of compassion for this Theodore Beale, because nothing about this, nothing whatsoever, bespeaks the mind of a happy and healthy person.
Apr. 17th, 2015 06:55 pm (UTC)
Were minds changed? Depends if the minds were changeable. Some people if they were convinced of an SJW conspiracy can't be convinced. The conspiracy is just as real to them as a faked moon landing is to moon landing conspiracy theorists.

And that's what's at the core of this, a belief that some conspiracy that you and I think never existed really did exist, that the SP slate was a justified, overdue act of justice for the underdogs (pun intended)
Apr. 17th, 2015 08:27 pm (UTC)
I must confess, as a progressive liberal I have been appalled by what has transpired at the Hugos thus far, brought on by some right wing bullies (imho), but I also must say I have been completely enthralled and schooled by George, his friends, comrades and opposer's as well. This has been quite a fascinating exchange to me as an outsider. Not just the insightful and well articulated comments by George, but also the compelling comments in these threads from both sides. I have no idea what will happen.
Also, BTW, when I first started reading about the "SP's" I was perplexed as to why George RR Martin and blog friends were writing about "Suppressive Persons"...(anti Scientologists).

Edited at 2015-04-17 09:17 pm (UTC)


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