Yeah, that. And my home phone is ringing. I hate my home phone. Why do I have one?
Yeah, that. And my home phone is ringing. I hate my home phone. Why do I have one?
I think this is part of why I keep complaining about books that are too long and editors not doing their jobs.
“This!” is a blog post by Walter Jon Williams online at:
Read: 2015-09-08 to 2015-09-17
2015-09-08/5%: Not too impressed so far but I’ve enjoyed some of Spencer’s other books so we’ll see.
2015-09-11/15%: Okay, so Nikki broke into the crime scene, totally stupid, but she did this after the book said the police were going to take her to the crime scene. And I think the cops were going to take her for the same reason she’s there, to see if there were other details that matched her book. It’s taking a while to get to moving and it’s not really pulling me in.
2015-09-13/53%: It picked up at about 18% but it’s still a middlin’ pace at best. Good enough so far but I wish it would move along.
2015-09-17/92%: OMG this is long. I can’t believe I’m still not done with it. This is one downside to ebooks, not having an obvious indicator of how long they are before you start reading. Moon+ does give an estimate of how long it will take to read, I think this one said 8 hours (I’m at 5.9 with 38 minutes left) but it just doesn’t work the same as seeing the thickness of a book and then opening it to see the font size and spacing. Of course none of that matters if the book grabs me because I’ll clear the decks and read straight it through. It’s harder with one like this that’s good enough to keep going but not so good that I want to set aside everything else and just read.
2015-09-17/100%: It turned out the book ended at about 94% and the rest was appendix or some such. A good read, though I think it could have been shorter. There were times when I skimmed a page or two and didn’t feel I missed anything. The Mom had very little to do with the story. She was just background for why Nikki was secretive. She justified some emotional turmoil but I think I she could have been whacked without much impact.
I am soooooo tired of the heroes in uniform bullshit. I was in the military and I can tell you that it’s just like any other group of humans. You’ve got some really good folks, some really shitty folks, and a whole lot of folks just trying to get through the day. When you pretend all of them are heroes you make that meaningless for the ones who actually are and you give cover to the shitholes hiding in uniform. Go look up statistics on rape of servicewomen by servicemen and then talk to me about how every soldier is a “hero”.
Most military, like most cops, are fine people. The biggest mistake they make is in covering for the bad apples in their midst. If the military and the cops were really so uber-honorable and uber-honest then they’d keep their own house clean and they wouldn’t tainted by the actions of the few. But the majority is just grinding through another day and it’s easier to look the other way and not make waves, and “that dude was really cool at the poker game the other night so I don’t want to get him trouble”.
I used to love the fairy tale of the honorable soldier, but sadly I grew up and I learned that many of them aren’t all that honorable.
I don’t want to see the military (or cops) depicted as the bad guys, I want to see them depicted as real people.
I think this is probably my final ranking. English will be #1 and not rank anything else, including No Award. She can write. The others write well enough but mostly not about anything interesting. There’s also not enough in the packet to go on for Nelson or Raymond and I passed on Chu last year and I probably won’t read his Death of Tao any time soon, if ever.
PS. Did anyone else wonder if Riding the Red Horse was about menstruation? Anyone else think that would probably be more interesting than more fucking MilSF?
PPS. I’m actually not that opposed to MilSF and used to read, and enjoy, a lot of it when I was younger. With age I’ve decided that violence isn’t nearly as cool as I used to think it was. Also, MilSF is heavily cliched. If the Pups had put up some MilSF with some originality I’d be less irritated with them.
My take on the 2015 Hugo Awards. They were sad.
This is only my second year of “involvement” with the Hugo Awards and said involvement consists of paying $40 for the voter’s packet (because that’s a frigging awesome deal, or least it was last year) and then trying to do my “duty” by reading the works in the packet and voting for the ones I like. I don’t nominate because I don’t read enough new fiction each year to feel like I have any idea what the “best” is. I thought I was going to get a sampler from the Hugo packet and feel like that was true in 2014.
Unfortunately, for the 2015 packet I really feel like I got fucked by bunch of paranoid nitwits who thought there was a conspiracy theory to keep out certain kinds of fiction and promote other kinds of fiction. Those nitwits were then used by a jackass to further his own goals, which I think are mainly to get a lot of attention. The dude is a troll and if everyone would just stop talking about him he would slink sadly back to his cave to mope and occasionally to throw a tantrum. Seriously, never, ever, mention him. Have all the SF/F bloggers not been on the internet long enough to know that you don’t feed the trolls.
So anyway, the nitwits got used by the troll and together they nominated a bunch of really crappy fiction for Hugo awards and I’m pissed because I had a bunch of 4 and 5 star works to read last year and this year there have been a couple of 4’s and large number of 2’s and 3’s plus three 1 star ratings this year and none last year. I will admit that I probably judged the nitwit noms somewhat harshly, but that’s what’ll happen if you make me read your favorite stories and they don’t measure up.
I generally think the nitwit claims are bogus and founded in paranoia. After reading all the literary noms this year I think their idea of what “good” is very different from mine. I suspect there are a large number of people who would agree and I think that is probably the biggest reason why their favorite stuff isn’t winning awards.
But really, the nitwits didn’t matter because they got used by the troll and I don’t think he gives a shit about anything except getting attention.
So, that’s my take on the 2015 Hugos. I really hope that in 2016 the Sad Puppies will wise up and if they want to make a list of 10 or so works in each category that they recommend that’s be cool. If they want to say “vote for these five” then that would make them assholes, which the word I started to use this year before I decided to be nicer.
It would be nice if a lot more people read more SF/F and nominated next year which I think would cancel out anything the troll might try. I doubt that will happen because there is a ton of new SF/F every year and as mentioned, I certainly don’t feel qualified to nominate anything for best. I suspect a lot of other people feel the same way and like be they rely on the Hugos to highlight some of the best of the year and to provide a really good deal and an excuse for reading it. It’s not perfect, there are humans involved so that should be obvious. But at least 2014 it gave me a bunch of good stuff that I probably wouldn’t have read otherwise. In 2015 I read a bunch of crap and was generally pissed off.
So hey, Sad Puppies, remember Wheaton’s Law and don’t fuck up my 2016 packet. If you’ve got something you think should be in there it’s fine to say so, but it’s not fine to stuff the ballot box with Puppy Shit. It’s also not okay to play with trolls.
A note on the order of the categories above: I put them in order of how much I enjoyed reading them. I did this largely because I’m not sure I’ll even vote for Semi Pro Zine but almost everything in that category was good. It was far superior to the rest and I’m not a big fan of short fiction. The bottom categories were all pretty horrid but Novelette and Novella went to the bottom for making me suffer longer.
2015-10-28: Fixed the Fanzine link.
Puppy Shit is crappy fiction or non-fiction that’s a Hugo finalist because some dicks thought their favorite stories weren’t getting nominated so they made a list that got co-opted by a troll and resulted in my Hugo Packet containing a bunch of stories I didn’t enjoy.
My notes and rankings for the Best Fanzine category of the 2015 Hugo Awards.
My notes and rankings for the Best Semi Pro Zine category of the 2015 Hugo Awards.
I’d just about given up on on the Hugo packet because of all the Puppy Shit. Eventually I tried a few and was shocked to find a bunch of good stories. Still, I’m not a huge fan of short stories and I’m kind of burnt out. The first three below were all good but I’m not sure I can rank them. Read a story or two in ASIM and it was good as well. The thing is, while I think this was the category with the best fiction this year it’s also the hardest to rank because I’d have to go through and rank a bunch of individual stories and I really don’t feel up to it. Writing this is kind of making me want to do it though. I wish there was a way to indicate that this category had better fiction than anything else in this year’s crop.